GSK’s shingles vaccine tops MSD rival in Ph III testing
GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles vaccine Shingrix has topped rival MSD treatment Zostavax as it is shown to remain effective in elderly patients after four years, according to a recent Phase III study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The treatment showed a 90% efficacy in patients aged 70 and older that was retained over four years. Zostavax by comparison has been shown to decline with age, dropping to about 18 percent in adults over 79 versus 70 percent for people in their 50s. A Kaiser Permanente study found it was 69 percent effective in patients age 60 and older, yet only 4.2 percent remained protected seven years later.
“It’s a real step forward for vaccinology for elderly patients,” lead author Dr. Anthony Cunningham of the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia noted.
The company has plans to file the drug for approval in the US, Europe and Japan later this year with hopes it will hit the market by 2017. GSK senior vice president Emmanuel Hanon commented: “If approved, this candidate vaccine could be an important tool for the prevention of shingles and the pain associated with it, which would significantly impact the health and quality of life of so many people.”