New Drug May Treat Periodontal Diseases and Support Wound Care
Twenty years ago, Ellen Heber-Katz, PhD, accidentally discovered super-healing mice in the midst of an experiment. Ever since she has been working on possible applications in dentistry and wound care. Initially stumbling upon mice with extraordinary regenerative abilities due to a laboratory-bred autoimmune disease, Heber-Katz decoded the genetic quirks responsible for this phenomenon. She and her colleagues then developed a drug, 1,4-DPCA, capable of activating a similar response in normal mice, leading to rapid and scarless healing. The drug has shown promise in treating not only external wounds but also nerve damage, periodontal diseases, and osteoporosis in mice and rats. Heber-Katz envisions its potential for addressing significant health issues, including the costly treatment of chronic wounds in the United States. Heber-Katz has patented the use of 1,4-DPCA for tissue regeneration and co-founded MRL Bio, a company dedicated to translating their laboratory successes into real-world applications. Despite skepticism from some biologists about the complexity of true regeneration in mammals, Heber-Katz remains optimistic, emphasizing the drug’s ability to promote the growth of healthy new cells. The next steps involve testing the drug in larger animals, with eventual aspirations for human studies. Click here to read more.