Research project

PRESBYDX, a project to develop a new preclinical model of age-related deafness

Sensorineural hearing loss represents the majority of deafness. They are caused by irreversible damage of cells located in the cochlea - the auditory portion of the inner ear, i.e. the hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons. At present, their treatment is limited to hearing aids or cochlear implants. Dendrogenix - a Liege start-up - has recently identified the family of "Dendrogenins", original small molecules of the class "alkylamino-oxysterols", as a new therapeutic way to protect against of hearing loss.


he leader of the family, Dendrogenin DX243 is a small molecule "first in class" that induces neuronal survival and differentiation. Its efficacy has been validated in vivo on a robust model of chemo-induced deafness designed to test cochlear implants.

This PRESBYDX project is funded by the Walloon Region and started the 1st of October 2019 iwth €600.00 over 3 years.

The objective is to develop a new preclinical model of presbycusis in the laboratory of B. Malgrange (GIGA-Stem Cells and GIGA-Neurosciences, ULiège) whose work has focused for twenty years on neurosensory deafness. This model will be used for preclinical studies to validate the efficacy of Dendrogenin DX243. If successful, it will allow Dendrogenix to open the vast market of age-related deafness.

Thus, the project will break down into three phases:

- The establishment and validation of the presbycusis model

- The test of Dendrogenin DX243 on the model of presbycusis

- Determination of the therapeutic window of Dendrogenin DX243 on this presbycusis model


The Win2Wal 2019 program

This program (Wallonia) aims to stimulate strategic research carried out in universities, colleges or their associated research centers, ahead of projects identified by Walloon companies. In this context, "Strategic Research" refers to any research project applied downstream of basic research, in one of the areas identified in the Smart Specialization adopted by Wallonia.

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