NewsJapanese breakthrough: Clinical trials for tooth regrowth drug to begin

Japanese breakthrough: Clinical trials for tooth regrowth drug to begin

An alternative to implants is emerging
An alternative to implants is emerging
Images source: © Canva

2:38 PM EDT, May 31, 2024

Japanese scientists have announced the start of clinical trials on a drug that causes teeth to regrow. It could revolutionize medicine if it proves to be as effective in humans as it is in animals. Scientists have also disclosed when they plan to release the drug to the market.

For many years, researchers from Kitano Hospital in Osaka have been studying the regrowth of lost permanent teeth. In previous experiments on animals, the new drug induced the growth of "third-generation" teeth after the loss of milk teeth and permanent teeth in adult specimens.

An alternative to implants is being developed in Japan

In May, the team of scientists announced that clinical trials on humans of the world's first "tooth regrowth drug" will begin in September 2024. The drug will be intravenously administered to healthy individuals at the University Hospital in Kyoto to confirm its effectiveness.

The clinical trial will involve 30 men aged 30 to 64 years. Participants must lack at least one back tooth. After confirming the drug's safety, it will be administered to patients with a congenital lack of a full set of teeth to determine its effectiveness. It is believed that congenital lack of teeth affects about 1% of the population.

The tooth regrowth drug deactivates a protein called USAG-1, which inhibits tooth growth. The research team believes that in the future, it may be possible to grow teeth not only in people with congenital defects but also in those who have lost teeth due to decay or injuries. No serious side effects were observed in animal studies conducted so far.

A "tooth regrowth drug" in six years?

Lead researcher Katsu Takahashi, head of the Department of Dentistry and Oral Surgery at Kitano Hospital, said during a press conference: "We want to do something to help those who suffer from the loss or lack of teeth. Although there has not been a method to provide a permanent cure so far, we believe that the demand for tooth regrowth is high."

Prof. Takahashi added: "The idea of growing new teeth is every dentist's dream. I have been working on this since I was a student. I was convinced that I would be able to achieve it." Scientists hope to start selling the drug in 2030.

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