Author: Marcene Robinson
Stocked on the shelves of Western New York pharmacies is a bottle of dry mouth spray Lubricity, a product developed and manufactured locally by You First Services, Inc. with the support of the University at Buffalo Center for Dental Studies.
Through the partnership, the UB Center for Dental Studies verified the effectiveness of Lubricity through clinical trials, helping bring the product to market and contribute to the growth of You First Services as a budding employer in the region.
Since its establishment in 1988, the UB Center for Dental Studies has built an extensive history of performing scientific and clinical studies for new products by major companies around the world, including Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive.
However, the center also works with local manufacturers, providing access to cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art facilities and guidance from experienced researchers. Since its inception, the center has completed more than $15 million in research projects with contracts ranging from $10,000 to $450,000.
“Ease of accessibility to university scholars is one of the major benefits of having a research university like UB in our community, said Sebastian Ciancio, DDS, director of the Center for Dental Studies and Distinguished Service Professor in the UB School of Dental Medicine.
“Our Center for Dental Studies has helped manufacturers bring a number of useful products to the marketplace to improve oral health of consumers.”
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018, Lubricity, works as a saliva substitute for those who suffer from dry mouth. A side effect of more than 500 medications, dry mouth doubles the rate of dental decay compared to people without the condition, and increases the risk of pathogenic and fungal infections, says Ciancio.
The mouth spray, which contains hyaluronic acid, commonly known as “nature’s lubricant,” says Ciancio, is the commercialization of research concepts developed by late UB Distinguished Professor Robert Baier.
Lubricity, which can also be found online at Walmart, Walgreens and Amazon, and in independent pharmacies and hospitals pharmacies, is the flagship product and one of the early successes of You First Services. Formed in 2013, the company has grown from a fledgling startup housed in the UB Technology Incubator at Baird Research Park to a multimillion-dollar manufacturer of oral health care and sterilization products.
The company has received multiple peer-reviewed grants for programs in its disinfection and sterilization and infectious diseases control divisions, and earned the 2018 Bright Buffalo Niagara Industry Partner Award.
In addition to retaining space at Baird Research Park, in 2017, You First Services constructed a $2.6 million pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Buffalo with the goal of creating 28 full-time jobs in the region.
The company also employs 12 UB alumni, and has provided paid internships to nearly a dozen UB students from fields that include engineering, biological sciences, business, communications and architecture.
“We are very proud of our long-standing relationship and for the incredible quality of the research programs here at the University at Buffalo, said Satish Sharma, MD, executive chairman and chief executive officer of You First Services Group of Companies and research associate professor of urology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.
“The Center for Dental Studies’ scientific performance in terms of productivity, impact and excellence has remained outstanding. We at YFS will continue to work together with the University at Buffalo to continue to develop our programs to make a significant impact on the overall economy of the state and region.”
The UB Center for Dental Studies recently performed clinical trials for You First Services’ second product MetaQil, a mouth rinse that treats dysgeusia, a metallic taste disorder that occurs due to a number of causes, including damage to oral tissues by chemotherapy. The condition causes patients to experience a loss of taste or an overwhelming metallic taste.
The center performed a clinical trial of more than 50 local participants, who were treated with either MetaQil or a placebo. The study found that nearly 85% of participants reported a significant reduction in metallic taste while using the product.
MetaQil is available in local pharmacies and online.
The Center for Dental Studies and You First Services will continue to explore opportunities for research collaboration and clinical trials. To learn more about the UB Center for Dental Studies, visit the center’s website.