Press Release: CILcare, CBSET, and Draper partner to accelerate hearing loss treatment and care

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 6, 2017CILcare Inc., a leading clinical research organization specializing in ear disorders, and CBSET Inc., a non-profit translational research institute specializing in the advancement of novel therapies, announced today the initiation of a collaboration with Draper, a not-for-profit technology development company focused on the design, development and deployment of advanced engineering solutions. The collaboration centers on the assessment and testing of Draper’s novel intracochlear drug delivery (ICDD) device for hearing loss and related indications. With the ability to maintain a precise and constant volume of the inner ear fluid and with its small size, the ICDD highlights an innovative technological solution to treat patients with congenital and degenerative hearing loss.

Established in the dynamic life sciences hub of Boston, the CILcare/CBSET/Draper trio is working to assess the ICDD device with the use of CILcare’s hearing loss preclinical models, and the operational support of CBSET’s GLP-compliant facility for preclinical research and development. To strengthen this partnership and test the ICDD with drug candidates, CILcare is forming an industry consortium with biopharmaceutical companies developing compounds in this underserved therapeutic area. The consortium aims to provide the partnered companies with proof-of-concept data on the efficacy of delivering their compounds using Draper’s ICDD in animal models, an indispensable step before going into human clinical trials.

“The alliance between CILcare, the world’s leading services company in ear disorders, and Draper’s expertise in biomedical solutions, will allow us to develop a new generation of treatments to cure hearing loss. With 360 million people suffering from hearing loss in the world the stakes are high, and this collaboration provides a fast track for the development of safe, direct and effective treatments for patients. The intracochlear drug delivery device is revolutionizing the treatment of inner ear diseases by circumventing the tissue permeation barriers that have long hampered the development of pharmacotherapies for hearing disorders,” said Célia Belline, CEO, CILcare.

“The ICDD device’s infuse-withdraw cycles allow delivery of solutions with a zero net-volume change in the cochlear fluid. This technology developed by Draper enables effective distribution of each dose without damaging sensitive hearing structures and fulfills the need for precise and direct intracochlear drug administration. This biopharmaceutical industry consortium is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate the development of this device and bring a first-proof-of-concept of efficacy in animals. This step is essential to qualify and optimize the device to meet human clinical requirements,” said Jeff Borenstein, Lead Scientist for Drug Delivery at Draper.

“With GLP-compliant and AAALAC accredited state-of-the-art laboratories and expertise in implantable local drug delivery devices, CBSET is well-positioned to contribute to the success of this alliance. With no effective treatment on the market to cure hearing loss, the need for emerging therapies is growing. We are excited that this collaboration will enable us to contribute to the development of a promising therapy and look forward to a fruitful relationship with all consortium members,” said Peter Markham, President and CEO, CBSET.

“Hearing loss is extremely prevalent currently affecting 1 in 6 people with the numbers set to rise. Hearing loss increases vulnerability to social isolation and depression, erodes the quality of life for millions of people and has been linked to an increase risk of developing dementia. Demand to find effective treatments and cures is on the rise and growing significantly due to an ageing population. This consortium provides great opportunities for development of effective therapies for hearing loss by leveraging a new microfluidic intracochlear delivery system – a critical step to towards treatments for many types of hearing loss,” said Dr Ralph Holme, Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss.

In the coming months, the trio will initiate activities to invite biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies involved in ear disorders to expand the consortium.

For more information about the CILcare, CBSET, and Draper collaboration, contact Marie Peytavy, Associate Director of Marketing and Business Development at CILcare: +33-769-741-905,

About CILcare

CILcare Inc. is the world-leading services company for drug development in hearing and otic disorders. Based in Cambridge, Paris and Montpellier, CILcare has developed unique know-how to assess the safety and the efficacy of drug candidates and medical devices in drug-induced hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, age-related hearing loss, salicylate-induced tinnitus, noise-induced tinnitus and otitis. In addition to the expertise of the team and the strong support of the scientific board, CILcare also benefits from the large industrial background of its three founders. Learn more about CILcare’s expert biomedical research services or please contact us at

About Draper

At Draper, we believe exciting things happen when new capabilities are imagined and created. Whether formulating a concept and developing each component to achieve a field-ready prototype or combining existing technologies in new ways, Draper engineers apply multidisciplinary approaches that deliver new capabilities to customers. As a not-for-profit research and development company, Draper focuses on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems. We provide engineering solutions directly to government, industry and academia; work on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participate as a collaborator in consortia. We provide unbiased assessments of technology or systems designed or recommended by other organizations—custom designed, as well as commercial-off-the-shelf.


CBSET Inc. — 500 Shire Way, Lexington, MA 02421 — is the preclinical research leader in critically important therapeutic fields such as interventional cardiology, renal disease and dialysis, chronic drug-resistant hypertension, women’s health, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, biological and synthetic tissue repair, drug delivery, bioresorbable devices, and combination medical device and drug-eluting products). Learn more about CBSET’s expert preclinical research services, or please  contact us.