Press Release: CBSET-CILcare to report experimental methodologies for performing cochlear implant studies in anatomically relevant large species at the ‘ARO 2021 Virtual Midwinter Meeting’

Auditory research studies are typically performed using rodent models. Yet, owing to their size, implant studies often require a larger species with middle and inner ear anatomy more relevant to humans,” said Misty Williams-Fritze, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CBSET, co-lead researcher.

Lexington, MA — February 19, 2021 — CBSET Inc., a not-for-profit translational research institute, announced today that, in collaboration with its partner, CILcare, a leading CRO specializing in hearing disorders, they will present new data at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) 44th Annual Midwinter Meeting, Feb. 20-24, 2021.

The partnership presentation — “Cochlear Implant: Mini Swine or Sheep? Such a Tricky Choice” — will report the companies’ collaborative development of an entirely new methodology for performing auditory implant studies in two large-animal species, sheep and swine, and the specific advantages of each model.

“This is significant news for both Medtech and BioPharma companies that are developing implantable therapies for hearing disorders,” said Rami Tzafriri, PhD, CBSET’s Director of Research and Innovation. “Being able to work with appropriately sized anatomy opens the door for more clinically relevant models and a clearer pathway to regulatory approval.”

“Auditory research studies, including those evaluating implantable devices, ototoxicity and pharmacokinetics (PK), are typically performed using rodent models,” explained Misty Williams-Fritze, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CBSET’s Director of Veterinary Services. “Ideally, some studies may require a larger species with middle and inner ear anatomy more relevant to humans, which prompted us to develop large animal alternatives that can support the exact same procedures and readouts with greater clinical relevance. Though somewhat novel in the auditory space, this approach is standard practice in our other service areas where we routinely utilize pigs and sheep.”

Cyrille Sage, PhD, Director of Operations at CILcare’s Lexington, Mass., site, and an auditory systems specialist, added: “While small animals provide a cost-effective preclinical model for assessing hearing, their anatomical dimensions are not representative of the human, creating a need for large animal models. I am therefore excited that we are now able to provide a full methodology suite for a cochlear implantation in mini-swine, from image-guided surgery through functional readouts acoustic Auditory Brainstem Response (aABR) and down to immunohistochemical endpoint readouts such as inflammation and cell death.” 


CBSET is a state-of-the-art biomedical research institute located in Lexington, Mass. As a not-for-profit entity, our mission is to advance biomedical research through innovative, high-quality preclinical services to achieve the scientific, regulatory and commercial goals of our sponsors. Our 40,000-foot, GLP-compliant, OLAW-assured, AAALAC-accredited facility includes vivaria, procedure rooms, catheterization / imaging labs, surgical and necropsy suites, histopathology, SEM, and a range of other technologies. We provide top-tier research with operational expertise by combining in vivo studies, in vitro studies, computational and 3D modeling, and complex histopathology into one integrated paradigm. Since inception, CBSET continues to develop technical and scientific acumen through collaborative projects in the medical device, pharmaceutical and academic communities. Learn more about CBSET’s expert biomedical research services.

About CILcare

CILcare, with headquarters in Montpellier, France, and offices in Paris, Boston, and Copenhagen, is a CRO specializing in otology. CILcare has state-of-the-art laboratories, research experts in otology and neuroscience, as well as a global network of partners, enabling CILcare to offer fully customizable and comprehensive R&D programs including pharmacokinetics, preclinical efficacy, and GLP ototoxicology studies. Learn more about CILcare’s expert R&D services dedicated to ear disorders.