Promising Tooth Regrowth Drug Enters Human Trial Phase.
July 11, 2023: Promising Tooth Regrowth Drug Enters Human Trial Phase. In a groundbreaking development, Japanese researchers are working on a remarkable medical innovation that could bring new hope to individuals who have lost their teeth. A potential tooth regeneration medicine is set to undergo a medical trial starting in July 2024, as reported by the Mainichi, a leading national daily news site in Japan.
The team, led by Dr. Katsu Takahashi, head of the dentistry and oral surgery department at the Medical Research Institute Kitano Hospital, has been diligently working on this project since his graduate studies. The medicine addresses tooth loss individuals face due to congenital factors. If successful, this drug would be the world’s first treatment enabling patients to regrow their teeth.
The research began at Kyoto University around 2005, with Dr. Takahashi discovering a specific gene in mice that influenced tooth development. USAG-1 gene was further studied in a 2021 publication in Science Advances. The researchers found that tooth growth could be stimulated by suppressing USAG-1 with a neutralizing antibody.
Encouragingly, mice and ferrets demonstrated the ability to grow new teeth when provided with the appropriate conditions.
This tooth regrowth medicine holds great potential for individuals with anodontia, a rare genetic disorder resulting from the teeth’ absence. The medication could benefit those who have never developed any teeth or have missing baby and/or adult teeth, potentially restoring six or more missing teeth in some cases.
Dr. Takahashi envisions the new medication as an additional option alongside dentures and implants for those with incomplete teeth. The ultimate goal is to make tooth-regrowth medicine a standard choice for individuals facing tooth loss.
Following successful clinical trials, the researchers plan to make the drug available for children aged 2 to 6 who show signs of anodontia, setting the stage for broader clinical use and potentially opening doors to human organ regrowth.
The development of tooth regrowth medicine aligns with the rapid advancements in medical science, including creating human mini-organs from stem cells and producing real human organs on a chip by esteemed institutions like the University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University.
While the availability of this tooth-regrowth treatment by 2030 may seem optimistic, the dedicated team of researchers remains hopeful that their breakthrough will revolutionize dental care and provide individuals with a transformative solution to tooth loss.