One week after Canadian officials approved GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles vaccine, Shingrix, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the vaccine it’s approval.

The FDA on Friday approved Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in adults aged 50 years and older. Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine given intramuscularly in two doses.

Image/qimono
Image/qimono

Dr. Thomas Breuer, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of GSK Vaccines said: “Shingrix represents a significant scientific advancement in the field of vaccinology. The vaccine has shown over 90% efficacy across all age groups in the prevention of shingles, a painful and potentially serious disease that affects 1 in 3 people in the United States.1 The risk and severity of shingles increases with age as the immune system loses the ability to mount a strong and effective response to infection. Shingrix was developed specifically to overcome the age-related decline in immunity.”

Approval of Shingrix is based on a comprehensive Phase III clinical trial program evaluating its efficacy, safety and immunogenicity in more than 38,000 people. In a pooled analysis of these studies, Shingrix demonstrated efficacy against shingles greater than 90% across all age groups, as well as sustained efficacy over a follow-up period of 4 years.2,3 By preventing shingles, Shingrix also reduced the overall incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a form of chronic nerve pain and the most common complication associated with shingles.

Related: Shingles 101: Signs, symptoms and pain management

Luc Debruyne, President of Global Vaccines at GSK said: “We believe Shingrix will provide confidence in the protection one can expect from a shingles vaccine. GSK is committed to partnering with the public health and medical community to help address the gaps in vaccine coverage among adults that persist in the United States.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is expected to vote on a recommendation for the use of Shingrix at its meeting on 25 October 2017.

Following this approval from FDA, and pending a recommendation from ACIP, Shingrix will be available shortly. On 13 October 2017, Shingrix was approved in Canada for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in people aged 50 years or older. Regulatory filings in the European Union, Australia and Japan are underway.

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