Oct 2017 PRWeb

Otomagnetics has invented a magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin and carboplatin chemotherapy regimens can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting toxicity. Hearing loss in kids has a dramatic impact on their ability to communicate and learn and is associated with substantial cognitive and speech development deficits. Our drug delivery technology enables topical delivery of otoprotective therapy to the cochlea, and in animal studies has been shown to protect hearing from cisplatin regimens. Topical and non-invasive magnetic delivery of a small dose of otoprotective steroid to the cochlea would have no risk of interrupting the systemic anti-tumor action of chemotherapy, and in some patients could remove limits on administering needed chemo doses due to induced severe hearing loss. Funding support shall be used to progress our delivery system through FDA milestones, so it can reach patients.
Our device acts like a syringe, with the needle replaced by non-invasive magnetic forces that safely and effectively deliver therapy to difficult targets, including to the cochlea. “We are honoured and excited to be working closely with the National Institutes of Health to address a pressing clinical need. There should not have to be a choice between effective chemo and lifelong hearing loss. Our technology has the potential to allow treatment by chemotherapy without the attendant risk of hearing loss.” – Dr. Benjamin Shapiro, President and CEO, Otomagnetics.

 

Oct 2017 WKYT

Smartphones have become part of our everyday lives. Imagine losing your hearing, only to have it restored and your iPhone play a key role. It's not science fiction, instead its reality for one Clark County woman and she was the first to receive the new technology that's only been around about a month. WKYT's Amber Philpott sits down with the wife and mother who is crediting a new device for allowing her to hear the sounds of life again.

Jess TeowsIn most every school, volunteers play a vital role in the day to day. At Conkwright Elementary in Winchester, Jess Toews is a standout volunteer, known not only for her great attitude, but for her socks. "I believe that if your feet are having a party you can't have a bad day," said Jess Toews.
Those socks and a simple positive phrase of "life is good if you make it good," have helped the wife and mother through some really tough years health-wise. "I started having this pain in the side of my head right here and it wasn't a headache. I explained it to the doctor as charley horse in your brain," said Toews. In 2009 doctors found two tumours growing on her auditory nerves. Toews had surgery to remove the larger tumour, but lost her hearing in that ear as a result. Her spunky attitude on display before surgery donning those crazy socks, a testament of the positive attitude she was determined to have despite not knowing what the future would hold. "Life is hard, life is really, really, really hard, but it’s not a reason to give up. Even if I was going to be deaf that's okay, just go on and deal with it.” Chemotherapy helped shrink the tumor in her right ear, but once the chemo stopped the tumor started to grow again. Last summer, she lost all of her hearing. "I started to learn how to read lips and we learned sign language" said Toews.

This school year Toews is no longer living in silence, she can hear again thanks to a cochlear implant in her right ear and an auditory brain stem implant in her left. She will never forget the moment she could hear again. "I can't explain what it means to hear again, there are so many opportunities that I think I missed," said Toews. Now she has even more technology to help her hear, she is the first patient to receive the Nucleus 7. It's a little disk behind her ear that is a sound processor and works through her phone. "It allows me to talk on the phone, like I don't even have to hold my phone to my ear, it is a Bluetooth directly into my implant.” A simple app on her phone helps control the volume of what she hears. It also allows her to check the battery of her device so that she isn't caught out with a low battery and lose the ability to hear.

A game changer for someone who thought they might never hear again. Jess says, "Just hearing in general is amazing.” Life has tried to knock the crazy socks right off Jess Toews, but instead she is choosing to use this journey as a way to listen for what's next. "God gave me this for a reason, I'm going to use it. So whatever I have to do, whatever the purpose of this is, bring it on," said Toews. The device just hit the US market in early September; Jess was fitted for the Nucleus 7 at Cincinnati Medical Center where she was the first to start using the streaming device with the brain stem and cochlear implant combo.

 

Oct 2017 Stirling Times

North Beach mother Natalie Ellis treats Telethon Speech and Hearing (TSH) like her family.
Especially since the staff of TSH gifted her deaf two-year-old son Leo with the ability to hear through a cochlear implant. Ms Ellis said she found out Leo was deaf when he was a year old but she and her husband took 10 months before making a decision. “My husband was very cautious as well, because it is such a big operation and a huge decision,” Ms Ellis said. “We just kind of needed the professionals to really walk us through the whole thing and tell us 20 times why and what was wrong with his hearing because we do not know anyone who is deaf. Someone telling us that we have got to put a thing in his ear… it is really confronting. The people at Telethon basically walked me through it all and for a long time, they were so helpful and got everyone involved, and we finally felt like they were right and we were comfortable that it would go ahead.”
Ms Ellis said it had been a confusing and emotional journey for her family. “In hindsight, we wish we had done it earlier. Ever since he got his cochlear implant, he has just come along in leaps and bounds. He can’t say things properly because he is still learning but he is hearing everything.
Because he has lost his profound hearing, his hearing aids were not really doing anything for him and he was struggling with his right ear; he would just kind of ignore us all the time.” Ms Ellis said she was confident Leo could catch up with his speech development in time for kindergarten. She said Telethon had been instrumental in getting Leo to hear properly and her family was in a fortunate position.

 

Oct 2017 Daily Mail Australia

A five-year-old girl who lost her hearing at the tender age of two has been gifted a doll who wears hearing aids, just like her. Abbi Keating, from New South Wales, Australia, baffled doctors when she lost her hearing, and stopped talking at the same time. Her mum, Amy, 31, was devastated, but quickly ensured her daughter was fitted with hearing aids and later underwent an operation to have a cochlear implant fitted - an electronic device that replaces the function of the ear. As she grew up, Abbi spent hours drawing hearing devices on to her existing dolls, longing for one who looked just like her.  After researching online, Amy finally found an affordable 'Just Like You Doll,' and designed the doll in the image of her daughter. She decided to film the moment Abbi opened her surprise doll - and the pair have been inseparable ever since. The heartwarming video shows the young girl let out a long squeal as she pulls out the first doll. 'What has it got?,' asks Amy. 'A cochlear hearing aid,' Abbi responds shyly, wearing a huge grin on her face.

 Abbi KeatingAbbi KeatingAbbi KeatingAmy, a full time mum of three, said: 'After Abbi's hearing aid and cochlear implant were fitted, I was desperate to buy Abbi a toy that had them too. 'When I found an affordable one online, I knew it would be too adorable not to film the moment on camera.  'Abbi has since been inseparable with her doll and we've now ordered another - the hearing aids even come off, just like hers do!'