New Alzheimer’s Drug Approved by China After 17 Years of Testing

  • A new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease has been approved by the Chinese government.
  • The drug, GV-971, has proven effective for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
  • The international approval could lead the way for effective Alzheimer's treatment in Europe and the United States.

The Chinese equivalent of the FDA internationally approved a new drug shown to be effective at managing mild-to-moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease after a rigorous, 17-year, 3-Phase clinical trial which yielded positive results.

The announcement paves the way for the new drug, designated GV-971 and marketed as Jiuyiyi, to be prescribed immediately in China and increases the likelihood it may be approved in Europe and North America soon.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is poorly understood. About 70% of the risk is believed to be inherited from a person’s parents with many genes usually involved. Other risk factors include a history of head injuries, depression, and hypertension. The disease process is associated with plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are characterized by mental or behavioral disorders and the illness is the number three global diagnosis in elderly patients, topped only by cancer and heart disease. Currently, it’s estimated there are at least 50 million Alzheimer’s patients worldwide and that number is expected to rise to more than 150 million by 2050.

While not being touted as a cure, the new drug could be effective at reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in patients who are diagnosed and treated at early onset, before the later stages of the illness cause debilitation and even death.

GV-971 targets the Gut-Brain Axis, the corruption of which is suspected to be the cause of the disease, as well as numerous other maladies affecting mental health, including phobia and PTSD. The research was conducted by Prof. Yan Meiyu of the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In 2015, there were approximately 29.8 million people worldwide with AD. It most often begins in people over 65 years of age, although 4–5% of cases are early-onset Alzheimer’s.

The main, lead researcher of the successful trial, Professor Xiu Shifu of the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, reported that “the current medical treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is symptomatic, and its progression cannot be prevented with the limited drugs available. Based on the unique results of this trial, it is believed that the drug can provide a new solution for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

According to news reports, the Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is ramping up production for GV-971 and the new drug will appear on the Chinese market as early as the first quarter of 2020. The company also plans to launch post-marketing research and actively promote international drug trials, hoping to benefit Alzheimer’s disease sufferers worldwide as soon as possible.

Professor Zhang Zhenxin, a neuroscientist at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, was quoted as saying, “I have been involved in Alzheimer’s research for 50 years and have participated in international multi-center research on multiple drugs. The satisfactory treatment of the disease and the results of these clinical trials are exciting, and finally gives us hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their families all around the globe.”

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Reid Moore

Reid Moore is a Freelance Blogger retired from the USAF who lives in Riverside, California. Reid Moore has been writing online since 1996 on a wide variety of topics including News, Sports, Politics, Tech, Gaming, Autos, Popular Culture, Science, Music, Poetry, Art, Literature, the Paranormal, the Outdoors, Travel, Nature, Pets, Animals and Wildlife. So, naturally, in his spare time, Reid Moore can be found taking a well deserved nap...

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