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Sensorion, Institut Pasteur Extend Partnership to Develop Hearing Disorder Gene Therapies

NEW YORK – Sensorion on Friday announced that its R&D partnership with the nonprofit French biomedical research foundation Institut Pasteur has been extended through the end of 2028.

Sensorion, a biotech firm based in Montpellier, France, initially inked the research partnership agreement with Institut Pasteur in 2019. The deal granted Sensorion an option to exclusively license for development and marketing hearing disorder gene therapy candidates from collaborative projects between the organizations.

The two gene therapy programs being developed as part of the partnership so far are SENS-501 (OTOF-GT) as a treatment for deafness caused by mutations in the OTOF gene and GJB2-GT as a therapy for deafness caused by mutations in the GJB2 gene. GJB2-GT, which is at an earlier stage of preclinical development, is being evaluated in three indications: early presbycusis, progressive hearing loss during childhood, and congenital hearing loss.

Sensorion in July submitted a clinical trial application to regulators in the UK for SENS-501 in the hopes of initiating a first-in-human Phase I/II clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the gene therapy. SENS-501 is administered through an intra-cochlear injection and delivered with a dual adeno-associated virus vector, so that two parts of the OTOF gene that codes for otoferlin are delivered. Otoferlin is a protein expressed in the inner hair cells in the cochlea that is critical for transmitting signals to the auditory nerve.

Sensorion further has a preferential right on other preclinical research programs at Institut Pasteur related to genetic diseases of the inner ear.