Melbourne tooth decay detection device goes global

5 July 2023

Tooth decay is the world’s most prevalent chronic disease and a major public health problem, particularly for disadvantaged communities. It can affect people throughout their lives.

A Melbourne-made product aims to turn this around by enabling preventative dentistry.

We’re supporting Incisive Technologies to go global with its pioneering product, BlueCheck™, a device that helps dental professionals detect tooth decay earlier, allowing them to treat and monitor it more effectively.

The BlueCheck biomolecule binds to caries – sites of tooth decay – turning them temporarily blue so they can be seen more easily.

Campbell Robertson-Smith, Chief Financial Officer of Incisive Technologies, said BlueCheck supports the global shift from the “drill and fill” model to a preventative approach.

“Our lead technology used in BlueCheck came out of research conducted at the University of Melbourne by our Chief Scientific Officer Dr Jonathan Mangum. He was seeking a solution to a problem known as ‘chalky teeth’, which is faced by 1 in 10 young children,” Campbell said.

“His discovery led to an understanding that protein has an affinity for porous enamel, which is the fundamental definition of caries and the precursor to dental cavities.

“By specifically designing a biomolecule, consisting of a protein molecule linked with a dye, that targets areas of the tooth surface at their earliest stage of demineralisation, we have created a visible cue and objective evidence of disease for dental professionals.”

When tooth decay is treated early, it can be preventable. So having a tool that can detect dental caries before they are visible to the eye or x-ray machine can have a real impact on patients.

BlueCheck is designed to be simple, with no expensive equipment needed, so it can fit seamlessly into the normal workflow of dental professionals around the world.

“Our aim is to advance oral healthcare by enabling preventative dentistry – this is hugely exciting and very rewarding personally,” Campbell said.

“The greatest immediate impact may be seen in underserved or disadvantaged communities where access to oral healthcare is not a priority and health systems are trying to prevent avoidable costs over the long term.”

The City of Melbourne is supporting Incisive Technologies with industry connections and guidance through our Invest Melbourne division.

We have recently expanded our team with new TradeStart advisers who help small and medium-sized businesses identify and secure opportunities in global markets. The TradeStart network is an initiative of Austrade.

“The TradeStart team has been a great support of Incisive Technologies,” Campbell said.

“As a company intending to launch our product internationally, the global TradeStart network is a crucial resource in supporting the engagement of partners across a wide range of activities including logistics, company incorporation and market strategy.”

The Incisive team aims to make BlueCheck available globally. In an exciting development, BlueCheck recently achieved FDA 510K clearance, which is a great step towards making the device available in the US market.

“We are proudly manufacturing our product locally and will be exporting to the United States later this year,” Campbell said.

“The US market is complex and we will dedicate appropriate resources to ensure we are positioned for success in the various market segments, including working with Incisive’s investor and partner, CareQuest Innovation Partners, who are committed to propelling solutions that transform overall health through oral health.

“In parallel, we are seeking regulatory approval to launch in the EU, Australia and Asian markets, with launches planned in 2024 and beyond.”

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