A health ministry panel reviewing the new Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab greenlighted its approval in Japan on Monday, amid high expectations for what it can do against the neurodegenerative disease and concerns from others about its side effects, cost and availability.

The experts determined that lecanemab — the first drug seen to slow the progression of the disease — was effective enough to grant it regulatory approval, a health ministry official said Monday night after the closed panel meeting.

The panel’s endorsement will be followed by official approval by the health minister in coming days.