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Bionics Institute

Restore the magic of hearing

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Hearing loss from noise exposure is currently an untreatable condition that affects people in many walks of life, particularly those working in the military, construction, transport, manufacturing, and live music and entertainment industries.

Untreated hearing loss has far reaching consequences, and is not restricted to the inability to communicate with loved ones. Alarmingly, hearing loss is also associated with cognitive decline, social isolation and depression. We now know that people with even mild symptoms of hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing.

In early 2019, the Bionics Institute announced its Restoring the Magic of Hearing campaign, designed to raise $10 million for novel hearing therapies based on Australian innovation.

Our team of researchers, led by Associate Professor Andrew Wise in collaboration with chemical engineers at the University of Melbourne and clinicians, are developing a novel technology to treat hearing loss that delivers a therapeutic agent (drug) directly to the damaged cells in the inner ear.

The technology is based on a unique method of delivery that “loads” the drug into tiny particles created through nano-engineering. This breakthrough has enabled the delivery of drugs to the hard-to-reach inner ear, at levels that are safe and effective over time.

Our results so far are very promising and the team is focussed on generating the data needed to initiate a clinical trial as soon as possible in the next few years.

Dr Sherryl Wagstaff, ENT surgeon and clinical collaborator in our hearing therapeutics program, said, "I used to say to my patients, forget it, not in my lifetime; you are not going to see a cure for hearing loss. Now, I'm back to dreaming again, and it's really exciting."

 Any gift, large or small, will help this research program.

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Contact Details

384-388 Albert Street
EAST MELBOURNE VIC, 3002

(03) 9667 7500

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.