Live from BIO 2011: Otologic looks to cure hearing loss

FierceBiotech caught up with Oklahoma's Otologic at BIO 2011 Monday to learn more about this company whose mission is to cure hearing loss, a condition that affects millions in the U.S.

Roughly 26 million Americans have high frequency hearing loss. And 17 percent of 30-year-olds have experienced hearing loss as a result of excessive exposure to noise, according to data provided by Otologic CEO Dave Karlman. He told FierceBiotech that the company, which has been around since 2009, has three therapeutic platforms. One is a small molecule, orally administered, used to prevent and treat acute noise-induced hearing loss. The second involves sensory cell replacement through regeneration, while the third involves adult stem cell transplantation.

Although the company has no products on the market as of yet, Karlman said he was excited about the level of interest expressed by others about Otologic's pipeline and science. Within 18 months, the company hopes to strike up collaborations with big and specialty pharma, actively in-license technology, expand its staff and begin in-human clinical trials.

Last fall, Karlman told The Oklahoman that his company has the potential to generate $2.2 billion in annual revenue and employ 5,000 people, citing data from a survey of the growth of similar companies. It also closed a financing round to help it advance its technologies. The financing round lead by OCAST; Technology Business Finance Program and managed by i2E, and included participation from INTEGRIS Health and the Oklahoma Medical Foundation.