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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of September 10, 2017

SEP 16, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF

#1: FDA Expert Advisory Panel Backs New Shingles Vaccine

Today, in a unanimous vote, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert advisory panel voted unanimously to back safety and efficacy trial data of Shingrix, a new herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine for older patients.

The advisory panel's 11-0 vote to support for this vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, comes over a month before the treatment's October 24, 2017 FDA (biologics license application) decision date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the United States, about one in every three individuals will develop shingles within their lifetime; in fact, it is estimated that 1 million cases of shingles occur annually in this country. The risk of devleoping shingles increases with age, but anyone who has recovered from chicken pox in the past could potentially develop the rash. Before the rash develops, individuals usually experience pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will soon develop; the rash usually develops on one side of the face or body.

The vaccine's potential for approval jumps with the panel's backing, and has the potential to address a major gap in treatment.

Simon Murray, MD, an internist associated with the University Medical Center of Princeton, shared that about 50% of patients that receive the current shingles vaccine (Zostavax) still inherit the painful rash.

"Granted, they’re tenuated cases of shingles, but 50% of people who get that vaccine fail," Dr. Murray said. "And shingles is a big problem."

Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant vaccine for patients 50 years of age or over; it is an intramuscular injection of 2 doses, the second to be received in the second month of treatment. GSK's FDA application includes the results of 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials that showed a 97.16% and 89.79% vaccination efficacy rate in patients.

Read more about Shingrix, here.
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