Our Story

In 2008, Jay Lichter, Ph.D., a partner at Avalon Ventures and biotechnology industry veteran, experienced his first severe attack of vertigo. While driving, he became severely disoriented and had to pull to the side of the road. After multiple doctor visits, he was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease and quickly experienced the limitations of available treatments. With his physician, Jeffrey Harris, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of California, San Diego, and several other experts in the field of otology, Dr. Lichter founded Otonomy to bring new treatment options to patients with otic (ear) disorders.

Our mission today remains the same – to develop and commercialize novel and best-in-class therapeutics to address the significant unmet medical needs in the emerging otology market.

To overcome many of the limitations of delivering drugs to the ear, we have developed a proprietary technology that is designed to deliver drug that is retained in the ear for an extended period of time following a single local administration, which we refer to as “sustained-exposure”. Utilizing this technology, we have advanced multiple product candidates into development and launched our first product, OTIPRIO® (ciprofloxacin otic suspension). OTIPRIO is a single-dose, physician-administered antibacterial and the first product approved by the FDA for the treatment of pediatric patients with bilateral otitis media with effusion undergoing ear tube placement.