Oragenics, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Dr. Jeffrey Hillman and Dr. Robert Zahradnik on the concept of Replacement Therapy. Replacement Therapy uses the idea of replacing harmful bacteria with beneficial bacteria to cause a therapeutic or health-enhancing effect in the oral cavity. The company was founded on the replacement therapy we call SMaRT (S.Mutans Replacement Therapy). This SMaRT utilizes a genetically engineered strain of Streptococcus mutans that could help prevent cavities by replacing the body’s natural caries-causing strains of S. mutans. This new strain preferentially colonizes on the surface of teeth and the applied should prevent tooth decay.
From SMarT therapy evolved MU 1140 lantibiotic therapies. MU 1140 is an exciting new antibiotic in a class called lantibiotics. It was discovered while trying to understand the mechanism of action for SMaRT therapy.