Hear that? Startup company develops remedy for earwax
By Jan Jarvis
Cerumen, otherwise known as earwax, can cause stuffiness, pain and hearing loss. Too much earwax sends some 12 million Americans to the doctor’s office each year.
But quick relief might not be too far away.
After testing more than 100 formulations, Elyse Dickerson and Joe Griffin, believe they have found a solution that works. Their formula, which was developed at the UNT Health Science Center’s Discovery Center Lab, delivers immediate results.
“It disintegrates ear wax in just a few minutes,” said Griffin, a toxicologist and coowner of Eosera. “We believe it’s a safe and effective way to get rid of it.”
After leaving their jobs in ophthalmology, Griffin and Dickerson cofounded Eosera and turned to TECH Fort Worth and UNTHSC last spring for help developing a health care product that addressed an unmet need. It soon became clear that ear wax was a problem, especially among children and the elderly.
“Almost every doctor who we talked to said that what they really needed was something to take care of ear wax,” Dickerson said.
For months Dickerson and Griffin dropped balls of artificial and harvested human ear wax into different formulas until they found one that was aggressive enough to get the job done without damaging delicate tissue.
The formula is nothing short of a game changer.
Unlike overthecounter drops that soften ear wax, which then is flushed out with water, the formula developed by Eosera breaks it down quickly.
“You don’t have to use it for a week and then try to rinse the wax out,” Dickerson said. “This breaks it down in just a few minutes.”
Most of the time, ear wax should not be removed.
“It’s normal and necessary,” Dickerson said. “It keeps the ears clean and moist.”
But an overproduction of wax can cause hearing loss, tinnitus and itching. People often resort to cotton swabs and other tools to remove the wax, which often makes things worse.
The formula developed by Eosera was shown to be safe in the lab. This year the plan is to test it on humans as part of a clinical trial. Once it is approved, the team hopes to market it as an overthecounter treatment.
UNTHSC, working with TECH Fort Worth, a nonprofit technology incubator, was able to provide Eosera with the tools needed to get their product research and development off the ground, said Lawrence E. (Joe) Allred, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation.
“They are a good example of a small startup company that is seeking ways to interact with our scientists and institution and help stimulate the culture of entrepreneurism at UNTHSC,” he said.
Dickerson and Griffin said they are grateful for the help they received.
“Just to have access to laboratory equipment, the library and scientists is absolutely incredible,” Dickerson said. “We’ve been able to reduce our costs and increase our chances of success.”
By Alli Haltom Evonne Kaplan-Liss was struggling with the effects of ulcerative colitis, recovering from surgery and feeling hopeless. “I sank into a deep depression,” said Kaplan-Liss, now a physician and Assistant Dean of Narrative Reflection and Patient Communication for the T...Read more
Apr 23, 2018
By Jeff Carlton The databases of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) contain files on more than 1,000 active missing person cases in Texas and about 14,000 nationwide – each one a tragedy for the families involved. “I’m not sure we can help a family fin...Read more
Apr 18, 2018
By Alex Branch Rita Patterson, PhD, a UNT Health Science Center Professor, has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows, one of the highest professional distinctions for medical and biological engineers. Dr. Patterson was rec...Read more
Apr 16, 2018
By Raul Vintimilla, Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience I had earned my medical degree and finished a three-year hospital residency in Cuenca, Ecuador when I decided to move my family to the United States. I had discovered during my training that clinical care was not my pass...Read more
Apr 11, 2018