The first international symposium on inner ear disease therapeutics took place in Marrakesh in November 2017 and was jointly chaired by Professor Christine Petit from the Institut Pasteur, Paris France, Professor Abdelaziz Raji from the Mohammed VI University Hospital Marrakech, and Doctor Saaid Safieddine from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France. Two hundred and fifty participants, including ear, nose and throat specialists, scientists, students and manufacturers from twenty-seven countries met to present the latest findings and progress on the treatment of inner ear diseases, including cochlear and vestibular implants and gene and cell therapies.
Although the symposium’s outcomes were very positive, discussions revealed an urgent need to increase collaboration in inner ear therapeutics at a global level. While the participants agreed to extend their collaboration beyond simply attending future symposia, they also noted that this goal could be more effectively achieved through a scientific organization, which would provide an interactive forum for exchanging and disseminating information, between its members and to the society as a whole. A decision was taken to set up an international organization for inner ear therapeutics that will provide such a platform for presenting and discussing the latest findings in inner ear therapeutics and related technologies.
The organizers of the first international symposium agreed on a goal of setting up an interdisciplinary society and ensuring that it survives its formative years.