12:00 AM
May 23, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Otonomy: Delivering an earful

Otonomy's gels offer more effective dosing for ear disorders like Meniere's

Standard of care pharmacotherapies for inner and middle ear disorders use liquid formulations, which can lead to suboptimal dosing because much drug is lost via drainage through the Eustachian tube. Otonomy Inc. hopes its sustained-release gel technology will provide more convenient and reliable dosing.

No drugs currently are approved for inner and middle ear disorders that cause hearing and balance loss, like Meniere's disease, so ear drop or injectable formulations of steroids are often used off label. For middle ear infections like otitis media, similar formulations of antibiotics are used.

According to President and CEO David Weber, these treatments can be tedious and time consuming.

"The patient has to lie on his side for 45 minutes. He is told 'don't swallow, don't sneeze, don't talk,' because as soon as he does any of these things, the drug is lost down the Eustachian tube," he said.

Each treatment can take 45 minutes. In the case of Meniere's, off-label dexamethasone often is dosed every day for five days or once a week for five weeks.


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