WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Frequency Therapeutics, a biotechnology company spearheading the movement to harness the regenerative potential of target populations of progenitor stem cells inside the body, today announced that Will McLean, Ph.D., Co-founder and Vice President of Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Frequency and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, will lead a Featured Session at the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Annual Conference taking place April 18 to 21 in Nashville, TN. The session will bring together a panel of industry and academic experts to discuss current approaches and targets to promote regeneration of cochlear hair cells and repair mutations to restore hearing.
“The continued innovation around regenerative medicine to restore hearing is driving the development of a new class of therapeutics,” said Dr. McLean. “This panel will discuss the natural process of hair cell regeneration used by many species, and how next-generation regenerative medicine techniques may have the potential to enable restoration of hair cells to improve hearing.”
The session entitled, “Regeneration and Repair: The Potential for Hearing Loss Therapeutics,” will take place on Friday, April 20 with Dr. McLean leading the discussion on identifying progenitor cells and exploring his published research in Cell Reports (February 2017) where his team successfully identified a protocol of small molecules to efficiently grow cochlear progenitor cells into large colonies with a high capacity for differentiation into bona fide hair cells. This work also showed the ability to regenerate hair cells in damaged cochlear tissue ex vivo. Other panel participants include Brenda Ryals, Ph.D., Professor Emerita at James Madison University, Peter Weber, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Medical Officer of Frequency Therapeutics and an Otolaryngologist at Boston Medical Center, René Gifford, Ph.D., Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a member of Frequency’s Clinical Advisory Board, and Kumar Alagramam, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Research, Otolaryngology, at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University.
“Currently there are no therapeutics that address hearing restoration, and sensorineural hearing loss is typically managed with hearing aids or cochlear implants which do not address the underlying biology around the loss of hair cells responsible for our ability to hear,” said Dr. Weber. “The development of regenerative therapeutics targeting hearing restoration constitutes a major breakthrough for a condition that affects an estimated 48 million people in the U.S. alone. Our PCA Regeneration platform, which Dr. McLean played an integral part in developing, presents an opportunity to create a restorative therapy for hearing, but may also have the potential to address a number of other conditions such as diabetes, demyelinating diseases, skin disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.”
Further details on the AAA Feature Session are as follows:
Session Title: FS303 - Regeneration and Repair: The Potential for Hearing Loss Therapeutics
Date: Friday, April 20
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 AM ET
Location: Davidson Ballroom C
- Will McLean, Ph.D., Co-founder and Vice President of Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Frequency Therapeutics, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- Brenda Ryals, Ph.D., Professor Emerita at James Madison University
- Peter Weber, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Medical Officer of Frequency Therapeutics, Otolaryngologist at Boston Medical Center
- René Gifford, Ph.D., Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a member of Frequency’s Clinical Advisory Board
- Kumar Alagramam, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Research, Otolaryngology, at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University
ABOUT PCA REGENERATION
Frequency’s Progenitor Cell Activation, or PCA Regeneration, platform targets the root cause of disease without removing stem cells from the body. This approach avoids the generational and systemic issues that arise with traditional cell or gene therapy. PCA uses proprietary small molecules to awaken dormant progenitor cells already in the body to restore healthy tissue. PCA Regeneration transiently causes innate progenitor cells to divide and differentiate to initiate repair, in a way similar to naturally regenerating tissues such as the skin and intestine. Frequency’s elegant approach, which reduces the complexity of regenerative medicine, has the potential to yield a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative conditions including hearing loss, demyelination diseases, skin disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.
ABOUT FREQUENCY THERAPEUTICS
Frequency Therapeutics develops small molecule drugs to stimulate cells in the body to reverse biological deficits and restore healthy tissue. Through the transitory activation of these cells, Frequency enables disease modification without the complexity of genetic engineering. Our breakthrough therapy uses a proprietary combination of small-molecule drugs that induce progenitor cells to multiply and create new cells. Our platform technology is founded on discoveries in progenitor cell biology by the labs of Bob Langer, Sc.D. at MIT and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital. www.frequencytx.com.