Focussed on oral health
Denteric is a biotechnology company focussed on oral health. We are developing vaccines for treating and preventing severe periodontal disease, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of people with this disease. Denteric is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and has a strategic partnership with the Centre for Oral Health Research at the University of Melbourne.
The company is backed by leading Australian life sciences venture capital fund, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), CSL Ltd and the University of Melbourne.
Vaccines for periodontal disease
Denteric is developing vaccines that target the major virulence factors produced by the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and related species. In so doing, our primary goal is to provide options to treat and prevent severe periodontal disease and its complications. In time, it is also possible that this approach will have relevance in additional medical conditions which are associated with P. gingivalis and related species.
Severe periodontal disease is a debilitating form of gum disease which affects one in ten people globally. The disease damages periodontal soft tissue and alveolar bone that support the teeth (see images).
Periodontal diseases or gum diseases range from the relatively mild form called gingivitis to destructive forms called periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by an accumulation of dental plaque at the gum margin and is a common inflammatory condition. However, in susceptible people and under certain conditions the interaction between the immune system and the polymicrobial composition of the plaque changes so that certain pathogenic bacteria emerge which dysregulate the immune system. This leads to destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissue, including the bone of the tooth socket. The resulting loss of tooth support produces a pocket under the gum. This is called periodontitis (or severe periodontal disease). A key bacterium in this progressive disease is Porphyromonas gingivalis, and it is found at the base of the periodontal pocket. The emergence of P. gingivalis leads to further loss of support of the tooth to produce a deep periodontal pocket with substantial loss of bone; and this is called severe periodontitis (as shown in the images).
Reference: A therapeutic Porphyromonas gingivalis gingipain vaccine induces neutralising IgG1 antibodies that protect against experimental periodontitis. O'Brien-Simpson NM, Holden JA, Lenzo JC, Tan Y, Brammar GC, Walsh KA, Singleton W, Orth RKH, Slakeski N, Cross KJ, Darby IB, Becher D, Rowe T, Morelli AB, Hammet A, Nash A, Brown A, Ma B, Vingadassalom D, McCluskey J, Kleanthous H, Reynolds EC. NPJ (Nature) Vaccines. 2016 Dec 1;1:16022. doi: 10.1038/npjvaccines.2016.22
Other medical conditions are associated with P gingivalis
In addition to periodontal disease, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for P. gingivalis in the development of other medical conditions, including:
Alzheimer’s Disease - read New Scientist article on this association
It is possible that Denteric’s approach will have relevance in the treatment or prevention of these diseases as well as well as in periodontal disease.