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GlaxoSmithKline's Cervical Cancer Vaccine Protects Against Five Viruses, Study Shows

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - A study published Tuesday shows that a cervical cancer vaccine from drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is effective against not one but five of the most common viruses related to cancer.

Glaxo, which maintains its U.S. headquarters in RTP, paid for the study that was published in The Lancet.

The results show Cervarix is highly effective against the most common cervical cancer-causing virus types and has the potential to substantially reduce the incidence of cervical pre-cancers, cervical cancer and the associated diagnostic and surgical procedures, said professor Jorma Paavonen, from the University of Helsinki, Finland, the principal investigator of the study.

The results re-affirm confidence in vaccination as a primary preventative measure against cervical cancer when used alongside screening, he added.

GSK is seeking regulatory approval to sell Cervarix in the U.S. Cervarix is seen as a potential rival to Merck's Gardasil, which already is sold in the U.S. Cervarix produced more than $230 million in sales for GSK last year.

According to the study, Cervarix performed effectively against human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 as well as the next three most common HPV types 31, 33 and 45.

These excellent study results confirm the efficacy offered by Cervarix against HPV 16 and 18, said Thomas Breuer, chief medical officer at GSK, in a statement.

For the first time the results show that this vaccine was effective against cervical pre-cancers associated with the five most common cancer-causing virus types, he added. This is really good news for primary prevention of cervical cancer, as it indicates the vaccine could offer women additional protection against cervical cancer beyond what had at first been anticipated.

The study involved more than 18,000 women ages 15 to 25 in 14 countries.

By Local Tech Wire
Posted: July 7, 2009

Link to article: http://www.nccc-online.org/view_article.php?news_id=1282

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