Sinovac close to China marketing approval for hand, foot and mouth vaccine

China's Sinovac Biotech said it is close to receiving marketing approval for its vaccine for preventing the EV71 virus responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease, a common ailment in Asia that often is fatal. China counted 2.8 million cases last year, 508 of them ending in death.

In a news release, the company provided an update on its pipeline of vaccines, including 6 others in various stages of development.

The HFMD vaccine is under China FDA review of supplementary documentation Sinovac provided, the company said, and it was preparing for on-site inspections expected soon as the last hurdle before approval.

Next in the pipeline, Sinovac said, was a vaccine expected to begin clinical trials by midsummer for protection against 23 types of pneumonia bacteria. The rest of vaccines are no farther along than waiting for clearance before beginning trials. The closest of those is one for preventing varicella responsible for shingles.

Next in line, in descending order from getting ready to produce trial samples to waiting for review of trial-clearance applications, include a Sabin-type vaccine against polio, two hepatitis vaccines and one against rubella, expected to be developed as a measles, mumps and rubella preventative.

- here's the release from Sinovac