“Groundbreaking” Gene Therapy Provides Hearing To Baby Born Deaf

May 10, 2024

This is hopefully the start of a new era for gene therapies for the inner ear and many types of hearing loss.

Ear surgeon at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS, Manohar Bance, also the chief investigator of a global gene therapy trial that recently enabled a baby girl to hear after being born deaf.

Why It Matters: On Thursday, Cambridge University Hospitals announced that the baby girl, Opal Sandy, “is the first British patient in the world and the youngest child to receive this type of treatment.” After receiving the treatment, the now-18-month-old can respond to her parents’ voices and speak (saying words like “Dada” and “bye-bye”). The trial – working to show whether gene therapy can provide hearing for children born withgenetic deafness – continues in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain.

Read More: Deaf baby hears for the first time after ‘groundbreaking’ gene therapy trial (The Washington Post)

Photo Credit: Baby born deaf can hear after breakthrough gene therapy (Cambridge University Hospitals)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas