LONDON (TIP):Harvard scientists have developed a drug which they claim can cure permanent deafness by stimulating the inner ear. The drug, codenamed LY411575, works by triggering the regeneration of sensory hair cells. Until now it has not been possible to restore the cells once they have been lost due to factors such as loud noise exposure, infection and toxic drugs, the Daily Mail said. This type of deafness, often suffered by rock musicians and DJs, is generally assumed to be irreversible. Scientists succeeded in partially restoring hearing to mice that had been deafened by loud noise and believe the research could lead to effective treatments for in humans. The new approach involves reprogramming inner ear cells by inhibiting a protein, Notch. Previous research shows Notch signals help prevent stem cells in the cochlea transforming themselves into new sensory hair cells.