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.
Laureate Professor Eric C. Reynolds AO FICD FTSE FRACDS
Founder & Director
Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO is Chief Executive Officer and Research Director at the Oral Health CRC at the Melbourne Dental School at the University of Melbourne. For 16 years until 2015 Eric was Head of the Melbourne Dental School. He has lectured and published extensively and has chaired and participated in a wide range of professional committees and panels. Eric was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to community dental health in 2005. He has also been awarded the Clunies Ross National Science and Technology award in 2002 and the Victoria Prize for Science in 2005. In 2011 he was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award by the International Association for Dental Research, and in 2015 the Leach Medal for research excellence and the Global Health Impact Award from the University of Melbourne. In 2016 he received the Award of Merit from the Australian Dental Association and in 2017 he received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation. In 2019 he was elected Vice-President of the International Association for Dental Research.
Dr Andrew Nash
Andrew Nash is Senior Vice President, Research at CSL Limited. He completed his PhD in immunology at The University of Melbourne in 1988 and, after moving to the Centre for Animal Biotechnology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, developed and led a research group focused on basic and applied aspects of cytokine biology.
In 1996 he joined the ASX listed biotechnology company Zenyth Therapeutics (then Amrad Corporation) as a senior scientist and subsequently held a number of positions including Director of Biologicals Research and Chief Scientific Officer. In July of 2005 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zenyth, a position which he held up until the acquisition of Zenyth by CSL Limited in November 2006.
Following the acquisition he was appointed as CSL’s SVP, Research and is currently based at the Bio21 Institute where he leads a large global effort focused on the discovery and development of new protein-based medicines to treat serious human disease.
Dr Anne-Laure Puaux
Anne-Laure previously worked as a research scientist in academic institutions in France (Institut Pasteur, Inserm) and Singapore (A*STAR). She was also a staff scientist as part of Flamel Technologies in France (now known as Avadel Pharmaceuticals) and within the global Vaccines business unit at GlaxoSmithKline, headquartered in Belgium. During her time at GSK, she transitioned from Research and Development to Business Development and Licensing. Overall, she has established a track record in successful technology transfer and collaborative projects with emphasis on early-stage assets (discovery / preclinical to phase I/II).
Anne-Laure completed her PhD in Immunology from INAPG (now AgroParisTech) at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, and gained her Global Executive MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
Dr Chris Smith
Chris is a Senior Investment Manager with Brandon Capital Partners, Australia’s largest life-science VC, and manager of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). He is on the boards of both drug and medical device companies. Before this, Chris was a Business Development Manager with CSL Ltd. Chris spent three years as a postdoctoral immunologist and virologist at The University of Cambridge, UK. Chris has a first class honours degree in science from the University of Melbourne, a PhD in Immunology conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and an MBA specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship from the University of Cambridge.
Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist
Ingmar is a Senior Investment Manager with Brandon Capital Partners, Australia’s largest life-science VC, and manager of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). A medical doctor by training, Ingmar completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School before joining the Boston Consulting Group. Following time with several health-related start-up companies he spent several years at Sanofi, working in Commercial Operations, and in particular in the Cardiovascular Franchise of Global Marketing on Plavix, which during this time grew to be the 2nd-biggest selling drug in the world. Returning to Australia, he joined Melbourne Ventures, commercialising technology from the University of Melbourne, a position which included a part-time secondment to GBS Venture Partners, before joining Brandon Capital.