Cervarix On Track for FDA Approval, Garasil to Have Expanded Use

FDA experts back Merck’s application to extend the use of Gardasil to males

In twin votes likely to add considerable force to U.S. marketing efforts for HPV vaccines, an FDA expert panel has voted to back GlaxoSmithKline’s long delayed application to market its HPV vaccine Cervarix to women and soon after supported Merck’s application to extend the use of Gardasil to males. Glaxo shares gain 0.5 pct, Merck shares gain 1.9 pct.

Glaxo had originally tried and failed to gain FDA approval for Cervarix back in 2007 but was thwarted by the agency’s desire to see more information on potential side effects, particularly a heightened risk of miscarriage. Since that time the pharma giant has gained approvals in more than 100 countries, while biding its time with the FDA. And while the panel concluded that the link between Cervarix and miscarriages is tenuous, the experts suggested a warning to prevent pregnant women from getting the vaccine. The panel vote makes it all but certain that Glaxo will gain final marketing approval from the FDA, opening the door to the world’s biggest drug market and finally offering Merck some competition for Gardasil. Glaxo’s shares were buoyed by the news.

Food and Drug Administration advisers, in an 11-1 vote, said Cervarix appeared safe despite miscarriages reported around the time of vaccination and a small number of autoimmune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Panelists urged monitoring for those issues after approval to see if there was any link to the vaccine.Merck, meanwhile, is seeking an FDA approval to use its HPV vaccine to guard against genital warts in boys and men. The panel gave Merck its support, but there was widespread agreement that the use of an HPV vaccine for males 9 to 26 offered little protection against cancer, as HPV-related penile and anal cancer cases are extremely rare. The FDA has indicated that any final approval on Gardasil’s use in males will require post-marketing safety studies.

Check out full story in  the Los Angeles Times
Read  Reuters Report

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Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.