Grant to Fund Drug Development to Treat Periodontal Disease



Thanks to a $1.3 million award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine is working with Traverse Biosciences to evaluate the pre-clinical safety and effectiveness of TRB-N0224, the company’s leading drug candidate, in treating periodontal disease.

While 47.2% of adults age 30 years and older in the United States have periodontal disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, about 80% of dogs also have it by the age of 3 years. In 2015, Traverse Biosciences signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to develop a drug to treat canine periodontal disease.

The NIDCR grant now will be used to evaluate the leading drug candidate that has emerged, TRB-N0224, for the treatment of periodontal disease in both humans and animals. TRB-N0224 and the other candidates that were developed are chemically modified curcumins, which are designed to treat inflammation.

“With this critical support from NIDCR, we can accelerate the commercialization of this platform technology for the treatment of periodontal disease, as well as a variety of other chronic inflammatory conditions,” said Lorne Golub, DMD, a SUNY distinguished professor and a scientific cofounder of Traverse Biosciences.

TRB-N0224 is part of a proprietary library of polyenolic zinc-binding agents developed at Stony Brook by Golub and Francis Johnson, PhD, professor of chemistry and pharmacological sciences. It resolves inflammation through pleiotropic modulation of pathologically elevated matrix metalloproteinases and pro-inflammatory mediators.

Also, TRB-N0224 is synthesized in a scalable, 2-reaction process from inexpensive and readily available raw materials. It has demonstrated efficacy in treating periodontal disease in several laboratory rodent models with no observed toxicity at more than 15 times the therapeutic dose.

“I strongly believe there is a need to develop new and improved therapeutics to manage chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis,” said Ying Gu, PhD, DDS, of the school’s department of general dentistry. “It is exciting to work closely with a new venture to develop a promising biomedical technology invented here at Stony Brook University.”

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