J-LAB

Research on Boosting the Immune System with Amino Acids (5-ALA) to Fight African Swine Fever

Aired: Nov. 26, 2020

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a severe viral disease which affects pigs currently spreading around the world. At present, there is no vaccine for this highly fatal disease, causing massive losses in production and the economy. Pharmaceutical company neopharma Japan Co., Ltd. succeeded in the mass production of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA), an amino acid that can improve the functioning of antibodies. This segment introduces the first initiative in the world to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by enhancing auto-immune functions.

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Tanaka Tohru, Chief Scientist at neopharma Japan Co., Ltd.
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5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA)
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Dr. Inui Kenjiro
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neopharma Japan's factory in Shizuoka Pref.

Viewers’ Voice

This segment on the health problems of pigs and the development of medicines in the area explained the science quite clearly to the viewer and presented both the issues and the process of finding the solution with 5-ALA in a way that was easy to understand.

From Australia

Learning about the production and current usage of 5-ALA presents a good overview of this rather unknown substance. Since 5-ALA was expensive and hard to produce, the mass production of this substance provides new opportunities for research and medical use, which can lead to new insights and treatments in future. The tests conducted by a doctor in Vietnam deliver promising results, which can affect both the economy and fighting of diseases in a large scale. I am interested in seeing how 5-ALA is used in future.

From Germany

Although a bit technical, this segment was well put together in explaining the impact of the building blocks of life as we know it (5-ALA). It showed a different approach to treatment of diseases. Typically, we get to hear how inactivated vaccines are used in treatment of diseases like COVID-19. The research shown here advocates an approach to strengthening immune systems; one that is vastly different to other approaches to medicine and treatment of infectious diseases. Hopefully, similar methods could be developed to improve the immune function in humans.

From the UAE