Wyeth seeks FDA approval to market Prevnar 13

Wyeth has filed for FDA approval of its improved version of Prevnar for infants and plans to seek expanded authority next year to use it to protect adults.

Prevnar 13 guards against the same seven common strains of strep bacteria that the currently used jab can fight. And it adds six new strains that also are appearing regularly around the world. One of those strains is 19A, a growing threat that can often be resistant to antibiotics.

"It's now become the predominant cause of serious invasive disease, including in babies," Peter Paradiso, vice president for scientific affairs at Wyeth Vaccines, tells the AP. "It's important (to target) because of the number of cases and the severe disease it causes."

Wyeth--which is being acquired by Pfizer--credits Prevnar for a massive reduction in cases of invasive pneumococcal disease, which includes blood infections and meningitis.

- read the AP report for more