Wednesday, April 9, 2008

NYU Dental Professor Discovers Biological Clock

NYU Dental Professor Discovers Biological Clock Linking Tooth Growth to Other Metabolic Processes

Why do rats live faster and die younger than humans? A newly discovered biological clock provides tantalizing clues.
This clock, or biological rhythm, controls many metabolic functions and is based on the circadian rhythm, which is a roughly 24-hour cycle that is important in determining sleeping and feeding patterns, cell regeneration, and other biological processes in mammals.
The newly discovered rhythm, like the circadian rhythm, originates in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous system. But unlike the circadian rhythm, this clock varies from one organism to another, operating on shorter time intervals for small mammals, and longer ones for larger animals. For example, rats have a one-day interval, chimpanzees six, and humans eight.
NYU dental professor Dr. Timothy Bromage discovered the rhythm while observing incremental growth lines in tooth enamel, which appear much like the annual rings on a tree. He also observed a related pattern of incremental growth in skeletal bone tissue - the first time such an incremental rhythm has ever been observed in bone.
Reporting his findings today in the “Late-breaking News” session during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, Bromage said, “The same biological rhythm that controls incremental tooth and bone growth also affects bone and body size and many metabolic processes, including heart and respiration rates. In fact, the rhythm affects an organism’s overall pace of life, and its life span. So, a rat that grows teeth and bone in one-eighth the time of a human also lives faster and dies younger.”
Humans have by far the most variation in these long-term incremental growth rhythms, with some humans clocking as few as five days, and others as many as ten. Correspondingly, humans have the most variability in body size among mammals.
Future research will assess whether there is a link between slower growth rhythms and growth disorders. Since the autonomic nervous system controls human behavior, future research will also assess whether growth rhythms can be linked to variations in human behavior.
Dr. Bromage is an Adjunct Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology and of Biomaterials and Biomimetics at the NYU College of Dentistry.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cavities In Children Reduced More Than 60 Percent

Ortek Therapeutics, Inc., and Stony Brook University announced today that new data published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Dentistry demonstrate the effects of a new chewable mint in preventing cavities in children. This investigational product, called BasicMints™, contains CaviStat®, an innovative, fluoride-free, cavity-fighting complex. CaviStat is designed to mimic the profound cavity fighting benefits of saliva, by neutralizing harmful plaque acids and simultaneously promoting the remineralization of the tooth structure. The results show the children who were administered BasicMints had 62 percent fewer cavities in their molars after one year compared to children in the placebo group.

CaviStat was developed and clinically tested by researchers in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. The technology was patented and exclusively licensed to Ortek by the Research Foundation of State University of New York (SUNY) through its campus arm, the Office of Technology Licensing & Industry Relations (OTLIR), the entity responsible for licensing SUNY technology. Ortek is one of Stony Brook University’s successful local start-up companies that OTLIR helped to found. The company is planning to submit an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. BasicMints are not currently approved for use in the U.S. All of the components of CaviStat are naturally present in the human body.

“Cavities affect the quality of life for millions of children every year by causing them pain, to miss school days and cost billions of dollars to repair annually,” said Israel Kleinberg, D.D.S., Ph.D., lead researcher and inventor of the CaviStat technology and Distinguished Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology at SBU School of Dental Medicine. “This study shows for the first time that this new fluoride-free, cavity-fighting tool has the potential to significantly improve the oral health of children.”

The study published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Dentistry showed that after six months, children (N=96) who took BasicMints with CaviStat twice a day had 68.3 percent fewer cavities than the placebo group. After 12 months those children had 61.7 percent fewer cavities as compared to the placebo group (N=99) (P<0.001) in all of the molars studied (first permanent molars, some erupting premolars, second molars and deciduous molars). In the first permanent molars, some early erupting premolars and second molars, the children who were in the BasicMints study group had 75.6 percent less cavities after six months (P<0.001) and 50.7 percent less cavities after 12 months (P<0.001), as compared to the placebo group. Additionally, children in the BasicMints group had 76.2 percent less cavities in the deciduous molars after six months and 74.8 percent less cavities after 12 months, as compared to the placebo controls.

“We are truly excited about the results demonstrated by BasicMints™ in this new study and are looking forward to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to bring this new cavity-prevention technology to market,” said Mitchell Goldberg, President, Ortek Therapeutics, Inc., the makers of BasicMints™.

About the Study
The study published in the March issue of Journal of Clinical Dentistry was a one-year, double-blind, placebo controlled study that demonstrates that sugarless mints containing the fluoride-free CaviStat® technology were able to inhibit both the onset and progression of cavities in 10 and 11 year-old children in Venezuela. Study participants took four mints daily, two in the morning after brushing their teeth and before eating breakfast and two in the evening after brushing their teeth, before going to bed. There were 200 children enrolled and 195 who finished the one-year study with complete data. Ninety-six children were in the study group and received the BasicMints with CaviStat and 99 children were in the placebo group and received the sugarless mint without CaviStat. The study was funded by Ortek Therapeutics, Inc.

About BasicMints and CaviStat
BasicMints is a new experimental drug in pre-clinical testing designed to prevent the formation of tooth decay. This soft, chewable, sugarless, mint flavored tablet contains CaviStat, Ortek's innovative, fluoride-free, cavity fighting complex. BasicMints are designed to be dissolved and chewed into the biting and approximating surfaces of the back teeth. These vulnerable surfaces account for approximately 90 percent of cavities in children.

CaviStat is a new innovative, fluoride-free, cavity fighting complex that is designed to mimic and integrate the powerful alkali producing, acid neutralizing and remineralizing benefits of saliva. CaviStat was designed to counter the formation of dental cavities by simultaneously inhibiting the two fundamental processes known for more than a hundred years to be responsible for cavity development, namely, acid generation by bacterial fermentation of appropriate carbohydrate substrates and solubilization of tooth mineral by the acid generated. CaviStat contains the amino acid arginine, which when metabolized by certain plaque bacteria, results in elevation of dental plaque pH by alkali generation. It also contains bicarbonate, an important buffer in saliva; and calcium carbonate, a poorly soluble calcium salt.