Pharmaceutical companies have already invested billions of dollars in the development of effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. But they have failed – so far.
The Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer wants to bring a new drug for Alzheimer's "very soon" to the market. It contains seaweed and is the first new drug in the world since 2003!
To date, conditional approval has been granted under the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (NMPA). Additional research is needed to examine long-term safety and efficacy. In China, the drug is expected to be available later this year, followed by more countries.
CNN reports that Genga Meiyua's research team was working on brown algae.In an article in Cell Research, scientists describe how algae sugar suppresses certain bacteria in the gut, which can lead to neuronal degeneration and brain inflammation, leading to Alzheimer's disease.
This mechanism was confirmed in a clinical study by the Green Valley pharmaceutical company based in Shanghai, which will launch the new drug.
818 patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer's participated in a nine-month study. The results show that a seaweed-based drug improved cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease within four weeks.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder characterized by cognitive and behavioral impairments that significantly affect daily activities. It is the third most common cause of disability and death in the elderly, along with cardiovascular disease and cancer.
According to Alzheimer Disease International, there are around 50 million people with dementia worldwide, about two-thirds of whom have Alzheimer's disease. An effective cure for Alzheimer's could become one of the best selling drugs in the world.
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?
Dementia is a generic term for all illnesses associated with loss of mental function (e.g., thinking, remembering, orientation). Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia in which nerve cells die in the brain, accounting for about 60 percent of all dementia. Other forms are, for example, vascular dementia (a mental breakdown due to a circulatory disorder) or Pick's disease (destruction by damage to brain tissue).