New seaweed-based Alzheimer’s drug – First in 17 Years

Chinese officials have approved a drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease, and its got the potential to treat this very serious disease, one of the most promising of the last 17 years, wow right?


This drug is made from seaweed and contains Oligomannate, which is responsible for the results, it’s used to treat moderate to mild occurrences of Alzheimer’s disease.

China’s drug safety agency really thinks this is promising, but the approval has some conditions, so whilst it can be sold while there are additional trials, it will be really closely monitored, and could be withdrawn if any safety concerns are raised at any point.

Geng Meiyu is the leader of the team developing the drug at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


He said that they are inspired to look at seaweed because the people who eat it regularly have a really low chance of developing the disease, according to the statistics.

The scientific paper talk about how research into how the sugar contained in the seaweed prevents and has a dampening effect on some bacteria in the gut, this, in turn, prevents degeneration and inflammation of the brain which leads to the disease.

They confirmed that this mechanism was indeed responsible in a trial at Green Valley, the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company bringing this new drug to the masses.

They looked at around 800 patients, where they looked at Oligomannate extracted from brown algae, and how it drastically improves brain function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.


Philip Scheltens, a neurologist, said:

“These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease and imply that the gut microbiome is a valid target for the development of therapies”

Philip Scheltens advises Green Valley and heads the Alzheimer Centre Amsterdam, so he’s a pretty big figure in the field.

Vincent Mok, head of the neurology division at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said:


[the new drug showed] “encouraging results” [when compared to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors]

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are the existing treatment for mild to severe Alzheimer’s.

There is practically nothing that we know about the mechanisms of the new drug, so it should also be probed to see if it could have a protective effect and possibly slow down the progression of the disease in patients who have yet to develop strong symptoms of the disease.

The company said the sugar from the brown algae, Oligomannate, will be available in China “very soon” and it is currently looking for approval to market it abroad too, they plan to launch a third-phase clinical trial in the US and Europe in early 2020, WOW!

Alzheimer’s disease, which starts with memory loss and escalates to debilitating brain damage, is thought to cause 60% to 70% of the cases of dementia reported the world over.

We hope this is the start of something great, will you possibly be one of the many people to benefit from it, or maybe someone you know?