A homegrown drug, GV-971,which is the world's first innovative therapy for treating Alzheimer's disease in 17 years will be available to Chinese patients before the end of this year, its developers said on Sunday.
该药以海洋褐藻提取物为原料（materials extracted from brown algae），制备获得的低分子酸性寡糖化合物，可明显改善轻度至中度阿尔茨海默病患者认知功能（treat mild to moderate forms of the disease and improve cognition）。
Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking ability and the capability to carry out simple tasks, affects at least 50 million people worldwide, and the number is expected to increase as populations age.
China has roughly 10 million people with Alzheimer's, the most in the world.
Scientists said the drug functions mainly by rebalancing gut microbiota, reducing neuro-inflammation and reducing cognitive impairment.
A phase III clinical trial of the drug involving 818 patients completed in July last year had "proven to continuously and effectively improve cognition among mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease sufferers over a period of nine months," said Geng Meiyu, lead researcher on the drug and a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Shanghai Institute of Materia Medic.
The first production line for the drug will begin running this week. Patients will be able to buy the drug around the country from Dec 29, and more production lines will gradually be put into operation, which will meet the needs of 2 million patients, according to Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceutical, one of the drug's developers.