I just heard about a team of Japanese researchers getting ready to test their new drug that was created to regrow human teeth. Yep, that's right, just like in Harry Potter, well maybe not. In this article, I'll let you know what I found out and if (or when) you can expect to see it as an option at your local dentist.
According to a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Toregem Biopharma, there are proteins in your mouth that suppress the growth of teeth. They say they have developed an antibody that will stop those proteins from doing that and thereby let your body naturally replace missing teeth.
If that doesn't sound like nothing short of a miracle, I don't know what does. Miracle or not, the Japanese research team is set to begin clinical trials on humans in July of 2024. They believe, depending on the results from the trial, that there could be a product available for the market by 2030.
Sounds confident, right? That might be due to the success they have had with animal trials. Apparently, we have tooth ‘buds’ that are actually the things responsible for the growth of new teeth and the only reason why our teeth don't continue to grow is the proteins that suppress it. In 2018, these scientists tested this drug they developed on ferrets because they have tooth buds similar to humans. The trials with the ferrets were successful and new teeth were grown.
Now, this isn't just about having a Hollywood smile. It's about changing lives. See, it's not just for folks missing teeth due to those pesky cavities. There are people out there with a genetic disorder called anodontia, which basically means their permanent teeth just don't show up to the party. For them, this news could be like winning the lottery.
The dream team of researchers behind this breakthrough is setting their sights on 2025. That's when they hope to kick off clinical trials with kids aged 2 to 6 who have anodontia. This message is posted on their website by Toregem's president Honoka Kiso:
[Our] final goal is to offer advanced and scientifically driven clinical solution for the growth of teeth derived from their own tissues." So, keep an eye out, folks, because the future of smiles might be brighter than ever!
With any luck, even folks in Alabama will be seeing this offered as a new option for teeth replacement in the very near future. I wonder what kind of price tag this would carry. While they could, no doubt, ask for quite a large sum of money; hopefully, they will keep this option within the budgets of the majority. We only can hope.
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