GlaxoSmithKline’s European license for Cervarix was amended recently to reflect Cervarix’s success in treating additional strains of human papillomavirus.
Cervarix was initially approved by the European Union in 2007. It is included in a national vaccination program in the United Kingdom, where girls between the ages of 12 to 13 and 17 to 18 receive the drug.
The license amendment extends Cervarix effectiveness beyond HPV 16 and HPV 18 – the two virus types contained in the vaccine – including three more variations that together guarantee that up to 80 percent of the possible strains will be covered under the vaccine.
Cervarix is one of two products licensed to treat human papillomavirus, the sexually transmitted virus which is a precursor to nearly all cases of cervical cancer. Along with Gardasil, developed by Merck, Cervarix is one of two FDA-licensed HPV vaccines.
According to the American Social Health Association, between 75 percent to 80 percent of sexually active Americans will have some form of human papillomavirus in their lives. Roughly 90 percent of HPV in these cases will disappear within two years.
London based GlaxoSmithKline is the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company based on revenue. Its products include Avodart, Zantac, Levitril, and Paxil, among others.
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