(The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that a trial being conducted in collaboration with the US military is testing an experimental drug that might prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
  • The compound, a liquid form of d-methionine, was developed into a drug by Kathleen Campbell, an audiologist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
  • If eventually cleared by federal regulators, the drug would be the first approved to prevent hearing loss, and could benefit people in the military, as well as people who work in noisy industries.
  • Campbell designed a randomized three-year Phase III study, which began in late 2013 and is expected to enroll up to 600 subjects. Specifically, each soldier gets a hearing test, and then, over 18 days that include stints at the rifle range, drinks a liquid containing either the drug or placebo twice daily.
  • Earlier this year, researchers published the results of a study in Marines of the compound N-acetylcysteine. The trial found no significant effect on overall hearing loss, but there were indications the substance has promise, according to principal investigator Richard Kopke, who hopes to test it in combination with a second compound.
  • Meanwhile, Sound Pharmaceuticals received Defense Department support to run a trial of another compound in soldiers, but the study was never enrolled because of logistics concerns.