Japan's health ministry to decide whether to approve new Alzheimer's drug

NHK has learned that an expert panel at Japan's health ministry will decide later this month whether to approve a new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.

If approved, it will pave the way for the production and sale in Japan of the first drug that removes the abnormal protein that causes the neurodegenerative disease.

Sources told NHK that the ministry will convene the panel on August 21 to discuss whether to approve lecanemab, jointly developed by Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai and its US partner Biogen.

The drug is designed to slow the progression of the disease by reducing the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Eisai says the drug reduced the rate of cognitive decline in patients by 27 percent compared to a placebo in a clinical trial.

The US Food and Drug Administration fully approved lecanemab in July.

Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230802_03/