Citing "seriously flawed" methodology and "unjustified" claims, the journal Vaccine has permanently withdrawn a previously published study critical of Merck's Gardasil.
The China FDA has approved cervical disease test CINtec PLUS Cytology from Basel-based Roche, bolstering the company's offering in China where nearly 62,000 new cases of cervical cancer are reported annually.
Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and public health officials in the United States have some big new numbers to tout to promote HPV vaccination. On Monday, a group of federal researchers said that since the introduction of Gardasil in 2006, HPV infection rates in teenage girls have fallen by nearly two-thirds.
For years, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have battled safety worries and other stigmas with their HPV vaccines. But this week, the companies received a piece of positive news from the European Medicines Agency, which reported that a committee found no link between the shots and two rare conditions it had been studying.
Following behind a blockbuster is no easy task, but with a European Commission decision on Wednesday in favor of the vaccine, Merck's Gardasil 9 may just be up to the challenge of succeeding Gardasil.
The recommended schedule for HPV vaccination is two or three doses, but some patients never make it back for all of the shots. This may cease to be a concern if future trials prove what scientists reported on Wednesday: A single dose of GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix could work as well as the recommended two- or three-dose regimens at preventing the majority of cervical cancers.
A new analysis shows that healthcare systems can prevent throat cancer cases and save in long-term treatment costs by covering the HPV vaccine in young boys. Currently, Australia, Canada and the United States recommend the jab for boys, but only cover it for young girls.
Merck's new-and-improved Gardasil is making headway in Europe with the word late last week that the European Medicines Agency has recommended the jab against 9 types of human papillomavirus and will send its blessing to the European Commission.
Merck has already had its fair share of struggles with uptake rates for its HPV vaccine, Gardasil. A Toronto Star story from earlier this month, which focused on young women who'd suffered serious problems following vaccination, didn't help matters. The paper has since backed away from its story, but some damage may already be done.
Serum Institute of India, which has a history of undercutting its competition in the vaccine sphere, is expanding this undercutting game to HPV. Its low-cost competitor to Merck's Gardasil could hit the market in late 2018 at one-third the price.