Cisplatin is a widely used chemotherapy for the treatment of certain solid tumors. Ototoxicity and subsequent permanent hearing loss remain a serious dose-limiting side effect associated with cisplatin treatment. To date, no therapies have been approved to prevent or treat cisplatin-induced hearing loss (CIHL). Sodium thiosulfate effectively inactivates cisplatin through covalent binding and may provide protection against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. DB-020 is being developed as a novel formulation of sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate in 1% sodium hyaluronate for intratympanic injection (IT), enabling the delivery of high concentrations of thiosulfate into the cochlea prior to cisplatin administration. In the DB-020-002 phase 1a single-ascending dose study, healthy volunteers were enrolled into 5 cohorts to receive different doses of DB-020 via IT injection. Cohorts 1-4 received unilateral injections while Cohort 5 received bilateral injections. Plasma thiosulfate pharmacokinetics was measured, and safety and audiometric data were collected throughout the study. This study has demonstrated that intratympanic administration of DB-020 results in nominal systemic increases in thiosulfate levels, hence it should not compromise cisplatin anti-tumor efficacy. Furthermore, DB-020 was safe and well tolerated with most adverse events reported as transient, of mild-to-moderate severity and related to the IT administration procedure. These results support the design and execution of the ongoing proof-of-concept study, DB-020-002, to assess otoprotection using DB-020 in cancer patients receiving cisplatin without negatively impacting cisplatin anti-tumor efficacy.
Keywords: Cisplatin; Hearing loss; Intratympanic; Ototoxicity.