Curing Alzheimer’s the Chinese Way
Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes problem with memory, thinking and behavior and is one of the very few incurable diseases present currently. It is reported recently that the newly approved Chinese drug for the Alzheimer’s will start clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe in 2020. This is China’s first therapy for the incurable disease which is seeking global legitimacy. Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co. is the company that has invented the drug. The company plans to admit around 2046 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. for trials at around 200 sites, which will be located across North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific for 18 months.
Conditional approval was granted to a drug named ‘Oligomannate (GV- 971)’ in China last month. This drug is derived from seaweed and granted conditional approval through the trial that was run at 34 Tier-1 hospitals across China on a total of 818 patients. The drug comes in 150mg capsules and went on sale in the country on Dec.29. Patients will need to take three capsules a day. A week’s treatment costs 895 Yuan ($128) according to the drug’s package insert. “It’s understandable for our drug to be questioned,” said Green Valley Chairman Lyu Songtao. He further added, “We are confident because we see clear benefits from patients in clinical trials.”
The Global Scenario
There are 50 million people worldwide who are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s is the root cause in 70% cases. This implies that there is a big addressable market for Green Valley if it manages to take the drug globally. Many renowned pharmaceutical giants have invested billions of dollars over the years. But have failed to develop therapies for this disease. The company plans to launch a global Phase III clinical trial in 2020 in hopes of being able to file approval in other countries, including the United States. “It’s good to see that drug regulators in China are prioritizing emerging treatments for Alzheimer’s, but we do still need to see more evidence that this drug is safe and effective,” said Carol Routledge, the Director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. Thus if this experiment succeeds, it is destined to revolutionize the healthcare sector around the world.