Big smiles in Boston

April 28, 2003
Procter & Gamble donates oral care technology to Boston University

The Procter & Gamble Company has announced the donation of novel oral care technology to the Boston University School of Dental Medicine (BUSDM). Commonly referred to as H2 Antagonist Technology, this P&G innovation has shown potential in preclinical and clinical studies to safely treat and prevent gingivitis and periodontitis. If further developed and commercialized by BUSDM, H2 Antagonist Technology could provide significant oral health benefits to the millions of people around the world who suffer from gingivitis and periodontitis.

"With its widely respected reputation for periodontal research, the Boston University School of Dental Medicine has the skills, staff and resources necessary to continue the development of H2 Antagonist Technology," said Scott Whalen, Ph.D., director, technology division, oral and personal health care at P&G. "With a little more research and FDA approval, this important discovery may one day play an important role in protecting the oral health of millions of consumers."

Because P&G is currently focusing its oral care research in other areas, the company hired an outside consultant to identify the most qualified institution to further develop and commercialize H2 Antagonist Technology. BUSDM was selected because of its proven track record in creating companies to develop new technologies in dentistry. In addition, Dr. Thomas Van Dyke, who will lead the further development of the donated technology at BUSDM, is an internationally recognized leader in periodontology and clinical trials for oral therapeutics. As sole new owner of the technology, Boston University will benefit from all future revenues if H2 Antagonist Technology is successfully commercialized.

"The donation of a partially developed technology allows us to expand our translational research mission of taking technology from the laboratory to the patient," said Dr. Spencer Frankl, dean of the school of dental medicine. "Our service mission, which in part includes the provision of low cost care to the community, will be enhanced by a technology that replaces high cost surgical procedures with a lower cost medical alternative for the treatment of periodontal diseases."

Dr. Thomas Van Dyke, professor of oral biology and periodontology and director of clinical research for the school of dental medicine, added, "Our program has focused on using our understanding of the role of inflammation in infectious diseases to take concepts from the laboratory into the clinic. The technology P&G is giving us is ready for late stage human clinical trials and will allow us to rapidly translate these basic biological principles into a product for patient use."

Dr Ashley Stevens, Director of the Office of Technology Transfer in Boston University's Community Technology Fund said: "Community Technology Fund is excited about the stage of development of this technology, which has already undergone extensive testing in humans. We are addressing the issue of securing the funding to complete the clinical development process so that the benefits of P&G's ground-breaking research can be made available to the public." 

How H2 Antagonist Technology Works

Traditional anti-gingivitis and anti-periodontitis treatments use anti-microbial chemicals to kill naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. The H2 Antagonist Technology enhances the body's protective response by locally blocking the effects of the chemical histamine. Histamine is released in tissues as a result of inflammation and has been shown to reduce the activity of those cells necessary for a protective response to bacterial invaders. Due to the specialized manner by which H2 Antagonist Technology blocks the effects of histamine, it locally enhances the body's natural defense mechanisms in both gingivitis and periodontitis.