× Medicines Discovery Catapult

The Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate brings together UK expertise and infrastructure in hearing research, therapeutic discovery, and development. The mission is to accelerate the development of hearing therapeutics to bring new treatments to people with hearing disorders, faster.

The Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate is enabled by a strategic partnership between Action on Hearing Loss, the UK’s largest charity for people with hearing loss, and Medicines Discovery Catapult.

In May 2020, the Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate collaborated with Boehringer Ingelheim to organise an Office Hours event, specifically focussed on hearing disorders.

Boehringer Ingelheim Office Hours is a pioneering mentorship programme to support innovators by “lifting the lid” on how Big Pharma works. Since 2015, over 200-early stage companies and emerging life sciences businesses have participated in Office Hours events globally, accessing pharmaceutical expertise and know-how to progress their research.

“It has been a great opportunity to support the mission of the Hearing Medicine Discovery Syndicate by offering our R&D mentoring program. This time we tried it digitally. We thank the Syndicate for managing the event smoothly and extremely efficiently ensuring the friendly atmosphere of a face to face event. We are proud to have contributed to the research for hearing disorders, a therapeutic space that still needs much attention.”
Dr Laura Corradini, External Innovation Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim

Output

The event was designed as a consultative ‘round table’ meeting, providing an opportunity for hearing research innovators to access industry-leading insight and expertise on the development of their hearing therapeutic programme.

There are no restrictions or conditions associated with Boehringer Ingelheim Office Hours; this “no-strings attached” policy encourages open dialogue from both parties.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the event was adapted to be conducted virtually. This enabled hearing research innovators and Boehringer Ingelheim experts located globally to participate.

Outcomes

Five innovators from across Europe and the US participated in the event, each receiving a dedicated 1-hour mentoring session from a panel of Boehringer Ingelheim experts and representatives from MDC and Action on Hearing Loss.

Impact

  1. The event enabled industry insight into innovations in an emerging and high value therapeutic area.
  2. Innovators increased knowledge of how to progress their science along the value chain.
  3. During an unprecedented global crisis, the hearing research community remained connected and dedicated to driving innovation.

Attendee Feedback

“The experience was very instructive and helpful. I will incorporate the feedback in the grant proposals for funding the project.”

“The broad expertise of the international panel and the easy flow of the discussion were much appreciated. We will take stock of the advice from the panel and focus our hit-to-lead campaign towards a specific patient population.”

“We have experiments designed to identify molecular targets of the drug in the CNS and this discussion helped confirm that this should be a priority for our company.”

“The input helped to prepare future “pitches” with insights on how Pharma like Boehringer Ingelheim thinks about issues.”