$8 million in industry-connected clinical trials, says most industry partners are repeat clients.
And new faculty are bringing indus- try expertise and clients with them to Buffalo.
Sebastiano Andreana, a dental implants expert who left UB in 2005 for a position at the pharmaceuticals company Pfizer, followed by a position at Loma Linda, returned to UB in December. His career has included designing clinical studies and helping to launch a number of dental products and materials, includ- ing mouth rinses and a dental laser.
Donald Antonson, associate chair of
“we feel we’re excellent in developing new technologies. But we utilize universities in their clinical and specialized expertise to validate the basic fundamentals of the products, as well as the product’s performance in laboratory and clinical settings.”
GEorGE tYsowsKY, VP tEChnoLoGY iVoCLar ViVaDEnt north aMEriCa
the Department of Restorative Dentistry, joined UB in 2007 with a wealth of indus- try experience, having served as director of clinical research for Dentsply Caulk, a division of the world’s largest profes- sional dental products company.
Antonson continues to work closely with industry partners, evaluating products for such companies as Ivoclar Vivadent, an international dental prod- ucts supplier whose U.S. headquarters is in Amherst; Dentsply International; GC America; Kerr Corporation; and Ultra- dent Products.
“You have to spend the time to be successful,” he says. “It doesn’t just come to you. You attend meetings, you contact companies, approach their R&D direc- tors, their product development special- ists, raise questions and provide feed- back. Afterward, if your advice has been
14 ubdentist Summer 2009
useful, they engage in further interactions leading to product improvement and learning.”
He adds that a benefit of the interac- tion is new information and the eventual exchange and incorporation of new ideas into the dental curriculum.
Munoz, who set up a biomaterials laboratory at the school in 2007, invites industry representatives to visit. His re- search facility houses a profilometer that measures surfaces’ roughness, a universal testing machine that assesses how much stress materials can withstand, and a color booth where researchers check how products look in different types of light- ing.
Another new capability of inter- est to industry partners is the school’s electronic oral health record system that will bolster the research enterprise in ad- dition to improving patient care.
“To have the electronic oral health records, you must have certain protec- tive processes in place,” Meyer says. “You must have very good control of your data. We have the necessary controls, and if a company is doing a clinical research study with us, we can protect their infor- mation very, very well.”
Products ranging from Dentsply Caulk’s self-adhesive cement SmartCem2 to Crest’s Glide Floss were tested at UB. Now they are in widespread use.
Ciancio’s center is active in nu- merous industry-sponsored research
sEBastian CianCio in onE oF thE EXaMination rooMs oF thE CEntEr For DEntaL stuDiEs.
projects that may lead to breakthroughs in dentistry. He and colleagues recently completed a study evaluating the effec- tiveness of a device that uses ozone to kill bacteria and halt tooth decay.
“If the study’s results are positive, it will mean that for many small cavities, people won’t have to have decay drilled out of their teeth: ozone can be applied to stop the decay,” Ciancio says.
He and fellow researchers are also conducting a clinical trial of a nasal spray that numbs the upper jaw, potentially eliminating the need for painful anesthe- sia injections preceding dental work on the upper arch. If successful, he predicts that the product “will change the whole way dentistry is done.”
Genco, who now also directs the office responsible for commercializing in- ventions of UB faculty and students, says partnerships that bring academia and business together are vital in delivering new goods to the market.
“For products invented by UB faculty, the industrial partner often will actually develop the material and has a license to develop it. They often take responsibility for providing the safety and efficacy data necessary for Food and Drug Administration approval, which is a very expensive proposition. They’re respon- sible for manufacturing, quality control, distribution, marketing and sales. So it’s a very necessary partnership—the univer- sity is not well-suited to do those things.”
George Tysowsky, Ivoclar Vivadent’s North America vice president of technol- ogy, says university partners play a criti- cal role in helping to launch products his company creates.
“We feel we’re excellent in develop- ing new technologies,” he said. “But we utilize universities in their clinical and specialized expertise to validate the basic fundamentals of the products, as well as the product’s performance in laboratory and clinical settings.”
Ultimately, partnerships between