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Frequency Nabs $42M for Hearing Loss Drugs, Clinical Data On The Way

Xconomy Boston — 

Hearing loss drug development continues to attract investment, with Frequency Therapeutics announcing today that it has brought in $42 million in a Series B financing to help it move its treatment through clinical testing.

Boston area-based Frequency is working on small molecule drugs that stimulate the growth of dormant stem cells in the body, and its lead drug, FX-322, targets key sensory cells in the inner ear. The drug, which is injected into the ear, is in an early-stage clinical trial, and the company says it will announce results in the first half of this year.

The new funding round was led by Taiwania Capital Management and Axil Capital, with Yonjin Capital and DF Investments also joining in as new investors. The round included investments from previous backers Polaris Founders Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Cobro Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, and Emigrant Capital.

Two other companies pursuing hearing loss treatments also secured funding in recent months. Decibel Therapeutics closed a $55 million Series C round last year, and says it should enter clinical testing this year with its drugs that protect against hearing loss that’s caused by other drugs. The company is also working on gene therapy for hearing loss.

Decibel isn’t alone in the gene therapy race. Akouos announced a $50 million funding round last year to finance its gene therapy for hearing loss, and the company’s leaders hope to start clinical trials in the next three years.