On March 11, JMEA met with the Ministry of Health’s Intractable Disease Control Division Section Chief Matsubara and assistant chiefs.
JMEA discussed the February 16, 2016 presentation at the U.S. CDC entitled “Post-infectious Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Intramural Research at the National Institute of Health.” According Dr. Avindra Nath, the study’s Principal Investigator and chief of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) section on infections of the nervous system, NIH’s study will focus on ME patients who had acute infectious onsets of ME. The presentation mentioned the recent Norwegian research on clinical trials of Rituximab as a treatment for ME.
JMEA appealed to the Ministry officials that Japan not fall behind other countries by advancing research on ME as a neurological disease in Japan, including allocating funds for clinical drug trials.
We learned at the meeting that while the United States apparently classifies both Ampligen and Rituximab as immune-modulating drugs, Rituximab is classified as a molecule-targeting drug in Japan.