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Fast Track Designation Granted for 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine for Infants and Toddlers
"While the incidence of pneumococcal disease has been substantially reduced since our introduction of PREVNAR in the United States, pneumococcal disease remains a health threat to children, specifically as emerging strains, such as 19A, become more prevalent," says Emilio Emini, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Vaccine Research and Development, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. "With that in mind, we are very pleased that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to our investigational 13-valent vaccine for pediatric use."
Fast Track designation is designed to facilitate review of products that address serious or potentially life threatening conditions for which there is an unmet medical need. With Fast Track designation, Wyeth plans to submit the biologics license application on a rolling basis as sections of the application are completed, enabling the FDA to begin review sooner.
The Company expects to complete its U.S. filing for pediatric use of the vaccine in the first quarter of 2009. Wyeth is also exploring opportunities to accelerate the timing of pediatric filings of the vaccine in the rest of the world from its current target of the first quarter of 2009. Wyeth's investigational 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is being studied in Phase 3 global clinical trials in both infants and adults.
Wyeth recently has achieved significant success in bringing new products to market. In the first quarter of 2008 alone, Wyeth obtained three new product approvals in the following therapeutic areas: major depressive disorder, Hemophilia A and opioid-induced constipation.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumococcal disease is the number one vaccine-preventable cause of death in children younger than 5 years of age. Due to the significant burden of pneumococcal disease and demonstrated vaccine efficacy, WHO recommends the priority inclusion of PCV7 in national childhood immunization programs worldwide. WHO notes that once other pneumococcal vaccines offering broader protection become available, countries can assess whether it would be helpful to switch to these vaccines.
Pneumococcal disease affects both children and adults and is a leading cause of illness and death worldwide. Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and describes a group of illnesses, including invasive infections, such as bacteremia/sepsis and meningitis, as well as pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections, including otitis media.
Source: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals