(Yicai Global) Nov. 30 -- A China-developed treatment for Alzheimer's disease has passed phase three clinical trials and could hit the market as soon as next year, pending regulatory approval.
The drug's developers, Shanghai Greenvalley Pharmaceutical, Ocean University of China and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, have applied for the China National Drug Administration to assess the treatment's suitability to go commercial, Greenvalley founder Lv Songtao told Yicai Global.
The medicine, named sodium oligo-mannurarate or GV-971, may significantly improve the cognition of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's, sometimes known as senile dementia, results from the latest tests show.
Alzheimer's is a major problem worldwide -- there are around 50 million people living with the disease across the globe, according to the World Health Organization, which forecasts that figure rising to over 150 million by 2050. Data from Alzheimer's Disease International in 2015 suggested that East Asia was home to the largest portion of sufferers, 9.8 million.
"Research shows that one in every 20 people aged 65 or over have Alzheimer's, and one in every four aged 85 or over" Qiao Liyan, a member of the Chinese Committee for ADI, told Yicai Global.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park earlier this month, where he asked how development of GV-971 was progressing. Just a day before, he proposed a science and technology innovation board be added to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, something that could help small- and medium-sized tech innovators like Greenvalley secure additional funding.
Greenvalley financed the research and development of the drug itself, pouring CNY3 billion (USD432 million) into the project over the past 21 years, Lv said, adding that most of the money came from sales of other products.
Editor: James Boynton