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JE vaccine approved for marketing in Europe

For the first time the EMEA has granted marketing authorisation for a vaccine for the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis in adults. Novartis Vaccines will market the product as Ixiaro in Europe

For the first time the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has granted marketing authorisation for a vaccine for the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in adults. Novartis Vaccines will market the product as Ixiaro in Europe.

JE, a mosquito-borne flaviviral infection, results in 10,000-15,000 deaths annually and is a potential threat for travellers to Asia. Until now there has been no licensed JE vaccine in Europe, although imported vaccines have been available on a named patient basis. The risk of contracting JE from a short urban visit to Asia is generally given as “extremely low”. However, there have been reported cases among short-stay holiday-makers. The risks for long stays in rural areas during transmission season are higher. 

Dr Andrin Oswald, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, said: "Asia is a very popular travel destination for Europeans. Since JE is spread by mosquitoes, the threat to travellers is unpredictable and may be underestimated. Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure against the disease and this vaccine will help travellers from Europe to Asia."

JE is prevalent in countries such as India, parts of China, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam.

27th April 2009

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