The new fluoride? FDA greenlights rapamycin oral health trial

Trial to evaluate rapamycin in periodontal disease gets FDA go-ahead – Matt Kaeberlein’s Optispan to monitor aging biomarkers.

The US FDA has granted approval for the first ever study to assess the efficacy of rapamycin in treating periodontal disease in older adults. Led by Dr Jonathan An at the University of Washington, the RAPID clinical trial aims to address the chronic inflammatory oral condition, which affects over 70% of aging adults, by targeting the mTOR pathway through rapamycin.

Periodontal disease has long been associated with other age-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. While current treatments involve deep cleanings, it is thought these options may be less effective as the disease progresses. Backed by Impetus Grants and VitaDAO, the RAPID trial seeks to shift the paradigm of managing periodontal disease by focusing on the underlying biological aging process rather than addressing its symptoms.

The inhibition of mTOR via rapamycin, an established immune-modulating drug, originally developed as an immunosuppressant for organ transplant patients, has shown promise in extending lifespan and healthspan in laboratory animals. Following promising preclinical results, the RAPID trial aims to explore rapamycin’s potential to not only attenuate but potentially reverse periodontal disease, offering a potentially novel approach to oral health management in older adults.

Optispan to monitor aging biomarkers

Enrolled participants in the RAPID trial will receive comprehensive exams, rapamycin treatment and free dental cleanings, including deep cleanings, along with compensation for their participation.

Seattle-based longevity company Optispan is collaborating in the RAPID trial. Co-founded by renowned aging researcher Dr Matt Kaeberlein and Dr George Haddad, Optispan’s mission is to deliver “optimal healthspans for everyone.”

Optispan co-founders Matt Kaeberlein and George Haddad.

“This trial embodies our commitment to proactive, science-based healthcare and marks a pivotal moment in the treatment of age-related diseases,” said Kaeberlein, the researcher behind the Dog Aging Project, a large-scale initiative assessing the effects of rapamycin on health and aging in dogs.

The company’s role in the RAPID trial will include monitoring biological aging biomarkers, providing insights into the broader health impacts of rapamycin treatment.

“By monitoring biological aging biomarkers in participants, we aim to gather invaluable data that could redefine the understanding and management of periodontal disease and its systemic implications,” said Haddad.

Stay tuned for our interview with Optispan’s Matt Kaeberlein in the coming weeks.

Photograph: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock