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Bexsero halved UK meningitis B cases in first year, says study

GSK hopes success of its UK vaccination campaign will encourage replication worldwide
GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline's meningitis B vaccine Bexsero has had a dramatic impact on meningitis B cases in the UK, according to a real-world evidence study.

The world's first national meningitis B vaccination campaign was launched a year ago and - after 10 months - has seen reported cases of meningitis B drop 50% compared to the average number over the last four years, according to GSK.

The real-world assessment suggests the effectiveness of the vaccine is 83% against any meningitis B strain, and 94% against vaccine preventable strains, for all children receiving the first two of three recommended doses. Uptake also seems to be firmly on track, with 90% of eligible infants having received the first two doses.

The data "demonstrate that Bexsero helps to protect babies in the UK from this often life-threatening disease," said GSK Vaccines chief medical officer Dr Thomas Breuer, who added that it "provides reassurance to parents who have already vaccinated their children or wish to help protect their children from meningitis B in the future".

GSK will be hoping the success of the UK programme will encourage other public health authorities around the world to kick off their own vaccination programmes against meningitis B, which is the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis in the industrialised world.

The UK pharma group acquired Bexsero from Novartis last year as part of an asset swap deal between the two companies, and has been approved to date in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and several South American countries, including Argentina and Brazil.

The UK programme helped kick-start sales of the vaccine, which more than doubled to £97m in the second quarter of this year after a period in which the roll-out was held back by supply issues.

Responding to the RWE data, the Meningitis Research Foundation's head of research - Linda Glennie - said: "We hope that other countries burdened by meningitis B will now consider protecting their people from this deadly disease."

"Meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours, and leave a substantial number of survivors with life-changing after-effects," she added.

Article by
Phil Taylor

6th September 2016

From: Research

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