FDA expands age indication for meningococcal vaccine for infants

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FDA expands age indication for
meningococcal vaccine for infants

BASEL: (Switzerland) US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Menveo® (Meningococcal Group A, C, W-135 and Y conjugate vaccine) for the prevention of meningococcal disease caused by four strains of the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) in infants and toddlers from 2 months of age. With this expanded indication, pediatricians in the US can now offer a single vaccine for the protection of infants, children and adolescents against four of thefive most common serogroups that cause meningococcal disease. It may be mentioned here that Meningococcal disease is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis, a rapidly progressing disease that can lead to death in otherwise healthy children.
“Each year, more children in the US die or are left with permanent disability from meningococcal disease than from two other diseases combined that we routinely vaccinate infants against - rotavirus and varicella,” said Dr. Steve Black, Center for Global Health, University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “With the expanded indication for this MCV4 vaccine, we now have the opportunity to help protect our infants against four strains of meningococcal disease earlier, when they are most vulnerable.”
In their first year of life, infants are more than seven times more likely to contract the disease than 14 to 24 year olds. Of the infants who contract the disease, more than 10 percent will die from it and of those who do survive, approximately one in every five will suffer permanent, devastating side effects, including amputations, hearing loss, paralysis and brain damage.
“Despite recommendations for routine immunization of adolescents, college students living in dormitories and certain infants in the US, meningococcal disease continues to kill and maim,” said Andrin Oswald, Head of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. “With this approval for the expanded use of Menveo, we hope that health authorities will deploy this vaccine to further reduce the burden of this devastating disease in the US.”
This FDA approval was based on data from three randomized multicenter studies involving more than 8,700 infants, conducted in Australia, Canada, Latin America, Taiwan and the US. The studies demonstrated that Menveo generated a robust protective immune response and was generally well tolerated when administered with other routine pediatric vaccines1.
Menveo is a quadrivalent conjugate vaccine for use to protect against invasive disease caused by four groups of the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (A, C, Y and W-135)1. As of July 2013, Menveo is registered in more than 50 countries for active immunization to prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y1. Studies are ongoing in infants, toddlers, adolescents and adults. Menveo has been available for use in adolescents and adults (11 to 55 years of age) since February 2010 and in children (2 to 10 years of age) since January 2011. (PR)