top of page

Successful therapy of Otoferlin genetic deafness - trial


Autosomal recessive deafness 9, caused by mutations of the OTOF gene, is characterised by congenital or prelingual, severe-to-complete, bilateral hearing loss. However, no pharmacological treatment is currently available for congenital deafness. In this Article, we report the safety and efficacy of gene therapy with an adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 1 carrying a human OTOF transgene (AAV1-hOTOF) as a treatment for children with autosomal recessive deafness 9.


This single-arm, single-centre trial enrolled children (aged 1–18 years) with severe-to-complete hearing loss and confirmed mutations in both alleles of OTOF, and without bilateral cochlear implants. A single injection of AAV1-hOTOF was administered into the cochlea through the round window. The primary endpoint was dose-limiting toxicity at 6 weeks after injection. Auditory function and speech were assessed by appropriate auditory perception evaluation tools. All analyses were done according to the intention-to-treat principle. This trial is registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, ChiCTR2200063181, and is ongoing.


Between Oct 19, 2022, and June 9, 2023, we screened 425 participants for eligibility and enrolled six children for AAV1-hOTOF gene therapy (one received a dose of 9 × 10¹¹ vector genomes [vg] and five received 1·5 × 10¹² vg). All participants completed follow-up visits up to week 26. No dose-limiting toxicity or serious adverse events occurred. In total, 48 adverse events were observed; 46 (96%) were grade 1–2 and two (4%) were grade 3 (decreased neutrophil count in one participant). Five children had hearing recovery, shown by a 40–57 dB reduction in the average auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds at 0·5–4·0 kHz. In the participant who received the 9 × 10¹¹ vg dose, the average ABR threshold was improved from greater than 95 dB at baseline to 68 dB at 4 weeks, 53 dB at 13 weeks, and 45 dB at 26 weeks. In those who received 1·5 × 10¹² AAV1-hOTOF, the average ABR thresholds changed from greater than 95 dB at baseline to 48 dB, 38 dB, 40 dB, and 55 dB in four children with hearing recovery at 26 weeks. Speech perception was improved in participants who had hearing recovery.


AAV1-hOTOF gene therapy is safe and efficacious as a novel treatment for children with autosomal recessive deafness 9.


National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Key R&D Program of China, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, and Shanghai Refreshgene Therapeutics.

Download PDF • 494KB


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page