In more than 30% of dental implant cases, existing bone graft materials fail to achieve the desired clinical results, and another bone graft procedure must be conducted, increasing the overall time and cost of the treatment. That's where LaunchPad Medical could potentially change the game with its new dental bone graft solution based on the company's Tetranite technology.
The Lowell, MA-based company won a $1.8 million grant from the Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center to initiate a pivotal animal study of its technology. The grant was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Dental and Cranial Research to improve the translation of promising tissue engineering and regenerative medicine technologies for dental, oral, and craniofacial clinical practice.
This isn't the company's first win, either. Previously, LaunchPad won two prior grants from the same center. The current grant, the largest of the three, is expected to support a pivotal animal study and generate enough data to file an investigational device exemption application with FDA to start a clinical trial.
"Unlike most exiting dental bone graft materials, this enhanced formulation of Tetranite resorbs and is replaced by bone on a timescale commensurate with existing graft materials but does not require ancillary containment devices like membranes or meshes or fixation aids like tacks and screws," said Joseph P. Fiorellini, professor and director of the postdoctoral periodontics program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and principal investigator for this grant. "The clinical use of this material will reduce the time and complexity of ridge augmentation procedures and likely lead to more consistent results with regard to maintaining the original volume of grafts."
Roughly 44% of all patients who receive a dental implant have a missing tooth when they start treatment and, depending how long the tooth has been missing, varying degrees of bone loss, LaunchPad said. These patients must undergo a ridge automation procedure in which particulate-based bone graft materials are placed using membranes and fixation aids to contain the graft during the healing process. These procedures increase the width and height of a jawbone to replace atrophied bone so that a dental implant can be successfully placed.
LaunchPad said it is initially developing its technology for use in the dental market, however the company is also working to develop adhesive applications for the broader orthopedics market.