July 11, 2023

Tooth-Regrowing Drug to Start Trials Next Year

An experimental drug developed in Japan is offering new hope for toothless wonders across the world, and human trials are expected to start in the near future.

A study conducted at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui has been focused on developing a drug that blocks the USAG-1 protein from interacting with other proteins, which would theoretically encourage the growth of teeth without any adverse side-effects.

The scientists had been conducting their research on ferrets and mice since 2021; last month the team announced that they were ready to start testing the “tooth regrowth” drug on humans, and expect clinical trials to commence in July 2024. They hope to roll out the medication for general use by the end of the decade.

Speaking to a local newspaper, lead researcher Katsu Takahashi said: “The idea of growing new teeth is every dentist’s dream. I’ve been working on this since I was a graduate student.”

Takahashi explained that the drug will be tested on those suffering with anodontia, a rare genetic disorder that prevents the sufferer from growing any teeth. “I was confident I;d be able to make it happen. We hope to pave the way for the medicine’s clinical use,” he added.

Could this spell the end of dentist visits, or open wide a new field of medicine? The “tooth” will eventually come out.