Wyeth's investigational pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) for young children, Prevnar-13, appears to offer better protection than the current blockbuster vaccine, Prevnar. The New Jersey-based company presented data from four European studies on Monday, including a 604-infant trial conducted in Germany.
Wyeth has high hopes for Prevnar-13, which is designed to protect against six more disease-causing types of the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae than Prevnar, including the most harmful strain, 19A. Worldwide sales of Prevnar grew by 13 percent in the third quarter and has been responsible for revenue of more than $2 billion a year to date. According to the CDC, as of 2006, Prevnar--the only PCV currently approved for young children--had reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children 5 and under by nearly 80 percent in the U.S. Wyeth hopes Prevnar-13 will increase the prevention rate to 92 percent.
The company, which plans to submit its application to the FDA early next year, hopes to expand sales of the vax into developing countries as well.
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