GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental vaccine to prevent the intensely painful condition known as shingles remained 90 percent effective in people over age 70 even four years after receiving the injection, according to data published on Wednesday.
In clinical trials, GSK’s Shingrix has shown greater protection for older recipients than what has been demonstrated by Merck & Co’s rival Zostavax vaccine. The drug is one of GSK’s biggest new product hopes. It plans to file for U.S., European and Japanese approval this year, and the vaccine could reach the market in 2017.
The latest four-year data on Shingrix, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows it may also provide an additional significant advantage by maintaining its effectiveness over time.
The risk of shingles, which is caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus, increases with age. There are about 1 million cases of shingles in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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