"Grow Your Own Teeth" - Innovative Regenerative Dental Treatment Readies for Landmark Human Study


Groundbreaking Tooth Regeneration Treatment Set for Human Trials

Researchers at Kyoto University Hospital are gearing up to begin the world's first human trials of a drug that can regenerate teeth. This revolutionary treatment, set to commence in September 2024, holds the promise of providing a permanent solution for those suffering from tooth loss or absence.

The upcoming trial, which will run until August 2025, will involve 30 male participants aged 30-64 who are missing at least one molar. The intravenous treatment aims to evaluate the drug's efficacy on human dentition, building upon its previous success in animal models.

"We want to do something to help those who are suffering from tooth loss or absence," said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi, head of dentistry and oral surgery at Kitano Hospital. "While there has been no treatment to date providing a permanent cure, we feel that people's expectations for tooth growth are high."

The medicine works by deactivating the uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1) protein, which suppresses tooth growth. By blocking USAG-1's interaction with other proteins, the treatment encourages bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, triggering the generation of new bone and, ultimately, new teeth.

This approach has already proven successful in animal studies, with researchers noting a high amino acid homology of 97% between different species, including humans, mice, and beagles.

Following the initial 11-month trial, the researchers plan to expand the study to include patients aged 2-7 who are missing at least four teeth due to congenital tooth deficiency, a condition estimated to affect 1% of the population. The team is currently recruiting for this Phase IIa trial.

Researchers are also eyeing the possibility of expanding the treatment to those with partial edentulism, or the loss of one to five permanent teeth due to environmental factors. This condition is estimated to affect around 5% of Americans, with a much higher incidence among older adults.

If the trials prove successful, this groundbreaking therapy could be available to patients with any permanently missing teeth within six years, revolutionizing the field of dental care and offering renewed hope to those struggling with tooth loss.

"The USAG-1 protein has a high amino acid homology of 97% between different animal species, including humans, mice, and beagles," the researchers noted, underscoring the potential for this treatment to have a far-reaching impact.

As the world eagerly awaits the results of these human trials, the future of dental care appears brighter than ever, with the prospect of a permanent solution to tooth loss on the horizon.