Glaxo prepares to launch Cervarix after EU okay
( Reuters ) - GlaxoSmithKline said on Monday the European Commission had approved its cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix, clearing the way for the European launch of one of its key new products.
The move had been expected after a panel of experts at the European Medicines Agency recommended the vaccine in July.
Glaxo's shot will compete with U.S.-based Merck & Co's Gardasil which is already available in both the United States and Europe, where it is sold via a vaccine joint venture with France's Sanofi-Aventis.
Both vaccines protect against cancer-causing strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).
A spokeswoman for the British-based group, the world's second-largest drugmaker, said Cervarix would go on sale in major European markets shortly.
"We intend to launch across Europe within the next few weeks," she said.
Glaxo decline to reveal how much it would charge for Cervarix or whether the European price would be above or below that in Australia, where the vaccine won its first major regulatory approval in May.
Cervarix is not likely to go on sale in the key U.S. market before 2008, since it was only submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March.