Mystery molecule claim to end caries

There’s something rotten here…

Over the last couple of days various news sites around the world wide web have been reproducing a report into a newly-discovered molecule which allegedly makes teeth immune to cavities. If the molecule, dubbed “keep 32” in reports, exists, its founders have managed to keep their research secret since 2005.

The various reports identify the founders of “keep 32” as Jose Cordoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Santiago, Chile. Yale University doesn’t appear to be aware of Sr. Cordoba’s discovery, or has yet to promote it on its website. His background, according to a blog set up by the company TopTech Innovations (co-owned by the founders) describes his background as “a PhD in Molecular Biologist (sic) at Yale University in USA with more the 30 years of experience as researcher in differents (sic) fields in Biologist.”

Co-researcher Sr. Astudillo is described on the same blog as “a MBA of Universidad de Chile with more than 31 years of experience in finance and business.” Despite being 18 months from bringing their discovery to market, the researchers haven’t registered or trademarked their company or product name as yet, although such process may be in train.

The pair have announced the molecule “keep 32”—which they say will take 60 seconds to remove s. mutans bacteria leading to cavities in the patient’s mouth and prevent their recurrence for several hours—will be offered under licence to not only Colgate and P&G, but also confectionary manufacturers Cadbury and Hershey’s.

Despite wide and rapid distribution across the web, the source of the original story appears to be a Spanish news report featuring a photo of Sr. Astudillo rather than any academic papers or reports from peer-reviewed journals. The reports so say the pair expect to obtain about $300 million in the first five years.


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