Acetium research

The L-cysteine in Acetium® capsule dissolves slowly into the gastric fluid, efficiently binding (neutralising) carcinogenic acetaldehyde in an achlorhydric stomach. This contributes to the prevention of cancer in mouth, stomach and oesophageal. Such cancers are typically diagnosed late, which results in a particularly poor prognosis.

The science behind the Acetium® innovation is strong and there is a great need for this product. Identifying the specific carcinogenic substance is crucial to preventing a particular cancer. Insufficient ability to remove acetaldehyde caused by point mutation provides a human model for acetaldehyde exposure, helping to explain the high incidence rates of upper gastrointestinal tract cancers in alcohol drinkers. The consistent epidemiological and biochemical results obtained from this model prompted the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in October 2009 to classify the acetaldehyde found in, and generated endogenously from, alcoholic beverages as a Group I carcinogen, i.e. as carcinogenic as asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene. One principle applies to all Group I carcinogens: every available means should be used to reduce exposure to these substances.

The Acetium® capsules are the only product in the world proven to reduce exposure to acetaldehyde. Acetium® is intended e.g. for persons suffering from an achlorhydric stomach caused by atrophy of the gastric mucosa and functional disorder (atrophic gastritis). An anacidic stomach is the most significant risk factor in stomach and oesophageal cancer. The risk group includes approximately 500 million people globally. The easiest method to diagnose an achlorhydric stomach caused by atrophic gastritis from blood samples is using GastroPanel® biomarker test developed by Biohit Oyj.

Acetium® capsules, which are available in pharmacies without prescription, are recommended to those with

1. long-term need to use medications that reduce gastric acid (HCl) secretion (PPI medication and H2 blockers); approximately 5-10% of Western population use these occasionally or regularly, and possibly more than 500,000 people in Finland,

2. an achlorhydric or low-acid stomach caused by atrophic gastritis resulting from Helicobacter pylori infection or an autoimmune disease, which can be diagnosed with GastroPanel® (500 million worldwide)

3. an untreated chronic Helicobacter pylori infection, which can be reliably diagnosed with GastroPanel® (more than 500 million people worldwide),

4. people who have undergone stomach surgery (over a million people worldwide),

5. people with gene mutation affecting acetaldehyde metabolism: 30–50% of Asians suffer ALDH2 deficiency.

The Acetium® and GastroPanel® innovations provide new opportunities for safe and cost-effective health care, as well as opportunities to tap into large and growing markets in cooperation with other Finnish and international companies and researchers.

Read more: > State of the art GastroPanel® and Acetium® innovations for the unmet