A biotech startup hoping to vaccinate against gum disease launches with $14 million

- September 26, 2019 < 1 MIN READ

Launching Denteric are: Melbourne Dental School Head of School Professor Mike Morgan, CSL Senior Vice President of Research Dr Andrew Nash, University of Melbourne Vice-President (Enterprise) Doron Ben-Meir, COHR CEO & Director of Research Professor Eric Reynolds, Member for Higgins Dr Katie Allen and Brandon Capital Investment Manager Ingmar Wahlqvist

A new biotech company Denteric, which is developing a vaccine for gum disease, has emerged out of the University of Melbourne thanks to a AU$14 million Series A investment.

The funds come from the uni, CSL Ltd and Brandon Capital’s government-backed medical research commercialisation fund, MRCF-BTF.

MRCF CEO Dr Chris Nave called the potential vaccine a “blockbuster”.

Denteric’s goal is to continue to develop and then commercialise research from a long-running vaccine program investigating periodontal disease, which effects 50% of Australians over 65, and a third of adults globally.

Periodontitis, as it’s known, is also associated with diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and certain cancers.

There is no cure for gum disease, with the current treatments cause considerable pain and considered “archaic” by those involved in the program.

Denteric’s launch coincides with the opening of the Melbourne Dental School’s new research Centre for Oral Health Research (COHR).

University of Melbourne Professor Eric Reynolds  the COHR’s founder and CEO, said he’d been developing the therapeutic vaccine to treat periodontitis for many years with the team there.

“Today, in a true partnership with the Australian Government and private capital, we have launched a company which will bring a Melbourne-developed gum disease therapy to market,” he said.

The Series A investment will go towards vaccine research program, with Denteric looking to hold the first clinical trial in humans within two to three years.