Sound Pharmaceuticals Announces Encouraging Results in Meniere’s Disease Clinical Trial; May Go Public in 2020

July 14, 2019

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — Biotech firm, Sound Pharmaceuticals, announced positive top-line results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center Phase 2b study in Meniere’s Disease (MD).


Evaluating SPI-1005 vs. Placebo in Meniere’s Patients


In the study, 149 adult patients with active MD, including a hearing loss at baseline of >30 dB in one of three low frequencies, received either placebo, 200 mg, or 400 mg SPI-1005 by mouth, twice daily for 28 days, with follow-up assessments at 4 and 8 weeks after the start of treatment.

In the trial, clinically relevant improvements in hearing loss (≥10 dB gain from baseline at one low frequency) using pure-tone audiometry (PTA) were significantly higher in the 400 mg dose group vs placebo (61% vs 37%, p<0.023), a relative improvement of 65% over placebo at 8 weeks.

Clinically relevant improvements in word recognition (≥10% increase in word recognition from baseline) using the words-in-noise test (WINT) also showed higher responses when compared to placebo (75% vs 56%, p<0.060), a relative improvement of 34% over placebo at 8 weeks.

Secondary efficacy endpoints were also tested using stricter responder criteria involving PTA and WINT. Using stricter PTA criteria (≥10 dB gain from baseline at two adjacent low frequencies), the 400 mg dose group showed higher relative response rates (39% vs 20%, p<0.044), a 95% improvement over placebo. Using stricter WINT criteria (≥4 words improvement from baseline), the 400 mg dose group showed higher relative response rates (60% vs 34%, p<0.017), a 76% improvement over placebo.

Results from the Intent-to-Treat (ITT) analysis showed that SPI-1005 was well-tolerated in the 124 patients that received at least one oral dose of study drug during the 28-day dosing period. No serious adverse events occurred, and the majority of adverse events were mild to moderate, and consistent with those observed in prior studies.


Phase 2b Clinical Trial


Enrollment occurred at 14 sites across the US between Sept 2017 and March 2019 and involved 149 consented adults (22-75 yo). Eligible patients with active Meniere’s Disease (MD) symptoms, including a ≥30 dB hearing loss at baseline in one of three tested low frequencies (250, 500 or 1000 Hz), were randomized (1:1:1) to either placebo or one of two oral doses of SPI-1005 (200 or 400 mg, twice daily).

Each study arm (n=41-42 adults) received 28 days of treatment and had follow-up assessments at 4 and 8 weeks after the start of treatment. Clinically relevant improvements in sensorineural hearing loss were determined using PTA and WINT, two validated measures of hearing sensitivity and specificity that are administered by an audiologist; patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes of tinnitus were self-assessed using the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI); and patient-reported outcomes of vertigo were self-assessed using the Vertigo Symptoms Scale (VSS). The improvement in PTA/WINT and TFI/VSS scores were compared between SPI-1005 dose groups and the placebo group.

The average age in the ITT population was 54.5 years (66 females and 58 males) and some study participants had been diagnosed with MD over 20 years before study enrollment. In the ITT analysis, statistically significant improvements were not observed in low frequency hearing loss and word recognition at 4 weeks when compared to placebo. Therefore, this Phase 2b study provides important data for the design of our future Phase 3 clinical trials. The results suggest both an effective dose of SPI-1005 (400 mg twice daily) and period of follow-up (8 weeks from the start of study drug) to be used as our primary endpoint in future pivotal studies where an active MD population is treated. The continued auditory improvement in the 400 mg dose group (from 47% at 4 weeks to 61% at 8 weeks) suggests the potential for a durable neurotologic effect of SPI-1005 treatment.

“We are very excited by the magnitude of the positive results of this trial in this diverse Meniere’s disease population”

–Dr. Paul Lambert, Lead Principal Investigator, Chairman of Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina

Details of the SPI-1005 clinical trials can be viewed online at


Sound Pharmaceuticals May Seek $100M IPO in 2020


According to media reports, based on the encouraging results of the company’s clinical trials, Sound may seek to go public as early as next year.

The company is said to have raised nearly $40M to date.


About SPI-1005

SPI-1005 is an investigational new drug that contains ebselen, a small molecule that is a new chemical entity or NCE under FDA classification. Ebselen is a selenorganic compound that mimics and induces glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and represents a novel class of anti-inflammatory. GPx activity is critical to several cell types and tissues in the inner ear, retina, brain, lung and kidney, and is often reduced during exposures to environmental insults. Loss of GPx activity has been shown to result in sensorineural hearing loss in multiple animal models. SPI-1005 is given orally and is being tested in several neurotologic indications including noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus, and two types of ototoxicity (hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness or vertigo), due to aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as tobramycin), and due to platinum-based chemotherapy. In earlier clinical trials, SPI-1005 demonstrated strong proof-of-concept data supporting the potential treatment in preventing and treating noise induced hearing loss and Meniere’s disease.


About Sound Pharmaceuticals

A privately held biotechnology company is testing SPI-1005 under four active Investigational New Drug Applications involving several neurotologic indications, including an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial in Cystic Fibrosis patients receiving IV tobramycin for the treatment of pulmonary exacerbation. The company is also studying bipolar disorder in collaboration with the University of Oxford, in a proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical trial where the novel anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of SPI-1005 are being tested in active hypomania. This study has recently completed enrollment and will disclose top-line data later this summer.


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