New strategies in the fight against the widespread disease periodontitis

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PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals GmbH, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer IZI, is developing novel therapeutics against periodontitis under the name Paropaste. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the preparation of a clinical trial with 3 million euros as part of the KMU-Innovativ program.

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the periodontium that can lead to destruction of tissue and bone around the teeth. The disease is caused by bacteria that settle in plaque and gum pockets and trigger an inflammatory response. If left untreated, this leads to damage to the entire periodontium and even tooth loss. Various studies also show a direct link between periodontitis and other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as an increased risk of stroke.

The basis of the novel treatment concept is the inhibition of an enzyme that occurs almost exclusively in the bacteria that cause periodontitis and regulates the production of various virulence factors there. By selectively inhibiting these factors, the pathogenic germs can be specifically suppressed and the natural microbiome preserved. The use of classical antibiotics, on the other hand, leads to growth inhibition of all oral germs, which carries the risk of rapid and stronger recolonization by the pathogens.

The aim of the project is to test appropriate drug candidates for their efficacy and safety, thus creating the prerequisite for a clinical trial for initial testing in humans. The collaborative partners will address various regulatory aspects, including resistance formation, material compatibility, toxicity and safety.

Fraunhofer IZI will contribute its expertise in the development and validation of bioanalytical methods for the comprehensive characterization of small molecule drugs. In addition, toxicity and safety are being investigated both in vitro and in animal models as part of a GLP study.

Project partners

  • PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals GmbH (Coordination)
  • Fraunhofer IZI
  • Fraunhofer IMWS
  • Skinomics GmbH