Receives Funding from Delta Dental
Interleukin Genetics, Inc.
in Waltham, Massachusetts, has received $3 million in financing through Delta
Dental Plan of Michigan Inc. for a genetic test that it is developing to
classify patients by their susceptibility to periodontal disease, says CEO
Lewis H. Bender, M.S., M.A., M.B.A. The 16-employee company develops genetic
testing for certain chronic conditions, including its PST periodontal disease
test. Mr. Bender told Mass High Tech that the test is to replace the current
standard of twice-per-year teeth cleanings with a model that would reduce
cleanings to once per year for patients with low risk, and increasing the
frequency to three or four per year for those at high risk. The change would
save money for insurers as well as improve care for patients, according to Mr. Bender.
Delta Dental has provided 15
years of data on patients who have agreed to take part in the study and have
provided genetic data. The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is
analyzing the data for Interleukin to determine how effective the test is at
predicting a patients’ risk of periodontal disease, and whether twice-per-year
teeth cleanings provide any benefit for those at low risk. Mr. Bender says that
he is expecting results of that analysis shortly. “If the data demonstrates
that low-risk patients do not benefit from the second cleaning, that’s big
news. If it demonstrates that high-risk patients would benefit from three or
four cleanings a year, that’s big news. If it demonstrates (neither of those),
that’s big news, too, but in a non-positive way,” he says.