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Swiss drug giant Novartis has won approval from Europe’s health regulator for its new meningococcal vaccine following support from US authorities last month.
The vaccine, known as Menveo, has been approved for use in children and adolescents aged from 11 as well as at-risk adults.
The success of the vaccine has wide-ranging implications for the future treatment of the infection which develops rapidly, affecting the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, and which can be fatal in at-risk groups.
The infection can also lead to debilitating complications for survivors, ranging from hearing loss to brain damage and, in extreme cases, loss of limb.
Novartis has been buoyed by industry reaction to the vaccine with some analysts saying Menveo could be a significant money-spinner for the pharmaceutical giant.
Menveo’s approval in Europe follows last month’s decision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to green light the vaccine. Novartis has already stated its intention to submit additional data to the European Commission advocating its use in other age groups.
Copyright Press Association 2010