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China Approves New Seaweed-Based Alzheimer’s Drug

Called Oligomannate, the new seaweed-based drug provided statistical evidence of its ability to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Called Oligomannate, the seaweed-based drug is the first to come out in 17 years
  • The full approval of the drug depends on the findings of safety studies
  • Oligomannate will be available in China by the end of 2019 while global trials are scheduled to start in 2020

China has just approved a seaweed-based drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals, the company behind the drug, announced that China’s National Medical Products Association (NMPA) has given conditional approval for the use of Oligomannate to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Oligomannate, or GV-971, is composed of oligosaccharides obtained from brown algae. A team of scientists led by Geng Meiyu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that the sugars contained in the brown algae suppressed gut bacteria which caused neural degeneration and brain inflammation.

Researchers’ interest was sparked by reports of low Alzheimer’s incidence among elderly people who consumed the seaweed.
Photo Source: Xinhua/Jin Liwang

Phase 3 clinical trials of the drug provided statistical evidence of its ability to improve cognitive function among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Although the clinical trials show promising results, other researchers are calling for larger trials of the drug in order to further elucidate the drug’s mechanism of action.

Green Valley Pharmaceuticals has announced that the drug will be available in China by the end of the year. It also plans to launch a multi-center clinical trial, with sites in the United States, Europe, and Asia in early 2020.

According to the United States National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is an “irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys a person’s memory and thinking skills, and eventually, the ability to carry out the simple tasks“.

Alzheimer’s disease alters the brain structure of a person, with abnormal protein deposits forming amyloid plaques and tau tangles all throughout the brain. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still not fully understood, although scientists believe that a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors contribute to its development.

Sci/Tech

Clinic Performs First Utero Surgery in Ohio on Fetus Before its Birth

The procedure will minimize the health risks from spina bifida.

  • A hospital in Cleveland has successfully performed in utero surgery on a fetus to repair spina bifida.
  • The fetus was still in the uterus when the procedure was performed by a team of over a dozen specialists.
  • The baby was born healthy just a few weeks after the surgery.

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Filipino Scientist Made Bioplastic Using Mango and Seaweeds

It might become one of the Philippines’ greatest contributions ever.

  • Bio-polymers known as pectin and carrageenan are found in mango and seaweed, respectively.
  • Montinola chose mango and seaweed because of their abundance.
  • The bio-plastic is completely water-soluble and can imitate the motion of our body.

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Diseases You Are Prone To, According to Your Blood Type

It’s best to be prepared!

  • Fertility problems are more prevalent in Type O blood
  • Those with type A, B, and AB are at a higher risk for heart diseases
  • Non-O blood types are more prone to gastric cancers

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