Partnership to Research Biomarkers in the Oral Cavity

Dentistry Today


The Forsyth Institute has entered into a strategic collaboration with Sherlock Biosciences, an engineering biology company dedicated to making diagnostic testing better, faster, and more affordable, according to the organizations. The partnership will focus on research, development, and commercialization of products and services for the detection of human biomarkers in the oral cavity and other oral health applications.

The oral cavity provides unique insights into overall health, Forsyth said. For example, microbial communities in the mouth are linked to a variety of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.

Saliva includes virtually all of the same medical information as blood, including peptides, proteins, DNA, and RNA, but it is much easier to collect as a biological sample, Forsyth said. Forsyth and Sherlock Biosciences said they see the oral cavity as a clinically valuable yet largely unexplored frontier that has the potential to revolutionize human health.

“As the world’s leading research organization in oral health, Forsyth brings a wealth of expertise that can rapidly advance applications of Sherlock’s technology to improve both oral health as well as diagnostic testing that relies on oral sampling,” said Rahul Dhanda, cofounder, chief executive officer, president, and director of Sherlock Biosciences.

“Forsyth’s leadership is built on its long and successful history of discovery in the oral health space, and we are thrilled to partner around our leading diagnostics solutions to enable the institute to deliver the next generation of oral health-focused technologies,” Dhanda said.

Forsyth said that its scientists have been exploring the oral cavity for decades. Since its founding in 1910, it said, it has contributed some of the most fundamental advances in oral health.

From the discovery of fluoride for tooth protection and the microbial pathogens that cause dental decay and gum disease, to creating the widely used Human Oral Microbiome Database and characterizing more than 700 microbial species that colonize the human oral cavity, Forsyth said, it continues to shed new light on oral and overall health.

“The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body and in many ways holds the keys to better health outcomes,” said Dr. Wenyuan Shi, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer at Forsyth. “Forsyth’s expertise in this field, combined with Sherlock’s impressive technological capabilities and culture of creative ingenuity, will create a powerful force in oral health innovation.”

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