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Oricula Therapeutics Secures Intellectual Property And Takes First Step To Commercialize Medicine To Preserve Hearing Licensing Agreement With University of Washington

4/9/2014 9:59:44 AM

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SEATTLE, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Oricula Therapeutics, LLC, a biotech company uniquely positioned to introduce medications to preserve hearing, announced that it has secured initial funding and licensed intellectual property from University of Washington. These represent key steps toward achieving the company's vision to commercialize compounds it has developed to prevent certain types of hearing loss.

The company's product will be the first medicine to be FDA-approved to protect the inner ear from the damaging effects of antibiotics that are known to cause permanent hearing loss. Reducing or eliminating hearing loss as a side effect of antibiotic therapy would allow broader worldwide use of these antibiotics for the treatment of life-threatening bacterial infections, such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, endocarditis and neonatal septicemia.

Oricula Therapeutics, founded in January 2013, emerged through hearing research conducted at University of Washington focused on a common form of hearing loss caused by antibiotic therapy. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are known to cause damage or death to the sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss in up to 10-20 percent of patients. Over the past four years, the scientific team that founded Oricula identified several new chemical entities that are up to 100x more potent than the initial lead compound. All have drug-like profiles consistent with becoming clinical candidates, based on physiochemical and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME) profiles. These compounds are the subjects of ongoing research for eventual commercialization by Oricula Therapeutics.

As the commercialization partner, Oricula Therapeutics continued research with University of Washington into the effectiveness of its compounds in mammals under a grant from Life Sciences Discovery Fund. In late 2013, the company negotiated exclusive licenses from the University of Washington for the intellectual property, including key patents, related to the research and compounds. The company is currently working on pre-clinical development in for an FDA Initial New Drug (IND) filing.

About Oricula Therapeutics

Privately held Oricula Therapeutics, LLC, headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is one of the first biotech companies focused on introducing medications to preserve hearing and balance from the damaging effects of medications and aging. Founded in 2013, Oricula is commercializing research conducted at the University of Washington and it holds exclusive license to the resulting intellectual property. This uniquely positions Oricula to introduce the first medication to be FDA-approved to prevent hearing loss for patients undergoing aminoglycoside antibiotic treatment by protecting the sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear that are necessary for hearing. By reducing or eliminating the debilitating side effect of permanent hearing loss, Oricula hopes to open the door to wider worldwide use of valuable antibioticsin the treatment of life-threatening bacterial infections. Oricula's first product is in pre-clinical development, progressing toward FDA Initial New Drug (IND) filing. For more information, visit

Maria Meredith,
Media Relations

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