May 21, 2024

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Japan: New drug makes adults to grow entirely new teeth

Japan: New drug makes adults to grow entirely new teeth


Japan: New drug makes adults to grow entirely new teeth. 


Kyoto University and Tregem Biopharma plan to start clinical trials of antibody drugs that make people grow teeth. 

The goal is to start a phase 1 clinical trial to confirm safety in July 2024. First, it will be put into practical use for patients with congenital anedentia, a condition in which some teeth cannot grow at birth.

A clinical trial aiming to regrow teeth by administering drugs to people who have congenitally few permanent teeth will start in July 2024, with the goal of practical application in 30 years.

Although it is still at the stage of animal experiments, the drug has also been used to successfully grow a “Third-term Tooth” next to baby teeth and permanent teeth. Will gum medicine open up a new dental treatment for tooth regeneration?


“Growing teeth is a dentist’s dream. Katsutoshi Takahashi, Chief of Dental and Oral Surgery at Kitano Hospital (Kita Ward, Osaka City), who is leading the research, looks back on the 1990s when the research began. More than 30 years have passed since that decision. He soon got to the stage of starting a trial for a toothpaste.


About 1% of the population has “congenital anedentia”, which means that they are born with fewer teeth. In particular, the loss of six or more teeth is considered to be hereditary, with a high incidence rate of about 0.1% of the population. Patients with edentia have fewer teeth from an early age, which may impair their ability to chew, swallow, and speak, which may adversely affect their growth.


After graduating from the Faculty of Dentistry, Mr. Takahashi entered Kyoto University Graduate School in 1991 and studied “molecular biology.” It is a field that studies the various proteins that are essential for the life activities of living organisms and the genes that serve as blueprints for synthesizing proteins.


After completing graduate school, he will study abroad in the United States. At that time, research results were beginning to appear around the world that mice that had been artificially deficient in a specific gene had fewer teeth. He started his research with the idea that “just a mutation in one gene can change the number of teeth. If we target that mutation, we should be able to change the number of teeth.”


Japan: New drug makes adults to grow entirely new teeth. 



The clinical trial, scheduled for July 2024, will initially target participants with edenthus, a genetic disorder that causes missing teeth, but the scientists aim to make the treatment widely available as soon as 2030 Come.

“Growing new teeth is every dentist’s dream,” said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi, chief of dentistry and oral surgery at Kitano Medical Research Institute Hospital in Osaka. “I’ve been studying this problem since my graduate school days. I’m confident I can make it happen.”


In an earlier study, researchers identified an antibody to uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1), which stimulated new tooth growth in mice with missing teeth.


Essentially, the scientists discovered that USAG-1 interacts with other proteins to inhibit tooth growth. Blocking this interaction leads to bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, which triggers new tooth growth.


Experiments in ferrets have had similar success in growing new teeth, following on from experiments in mice in 2018. The animals developed a seventh incisor, which was identical in shape and composition to the neighboring teeth.


“We hope to pave the way for the clinical application of this drug,” Takahashi said.


Scientists have been trying to decipher the gene expression code that keeps animals such as sharks growing their teeth for years, as well as conducting other experimental studies, but translating it to humans has been elusive.


The original 2021 study was published in the journal Science Advances.




Japan: New drug makes adults to grow entirely new teeth. 

(source:internet, reference only)

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