GAVI nets $50M for Merck's Gardasil, GSK's Cervarix

Back in 2012, the GAVI Alliance announced plans to help immunize 30 million girls in 40 countries with HPV vaccines by 2020. Wednesday, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation chipped in toward that goal with a $25 million investment that will be matched through the U.K.'s Department of International Development.

GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley

The funding will be used across GAVI's HPV programs, going toward the purchase of both Merck's ($MRK) Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Cervarix, GAVI spokesman Rob Kelly told FierceVaccines in an email. The alliance currently supports 23 countries that are either undertaking or have nabbed approval for HPV programs, which help prevent cervical cancer.

"Cervical cancer is a devastating disease that kills women at exactly the time when their families need them most," GAVI CEO Seth Berkley said in a statement. "I am pleased that CIFF is showing incredible support for our goal."

Keeping with a pricing arrangement agreed upon last May, GAVI will use the funding to buy Gardasil for $4.50 per dose and Cervarix for $4.60 per dose to supply developing countries--far less than $100 or more that the jab can cost privately. And with the World Health Organization's (WHO) strategic advisory group's immunization committee recently agreeing that a two-dose course of the HPV vaccine offers sufficient protection, a full course can cost as little as $9.

"Our investment in the GAVI Alliance will have a major impact on the lives of women and families in developing countries," Michael Anderson, CIFF CEO, said in a statement. "HPV vaccine brings a double benefit for adolescent girls. Not only does it protect them from a terrible disease but it gives them the opportunity to access health services and engage with healthcare professionals, in many cases for the first time in a number of years."

- read the release

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