Cervical Cancer vaccine wins pharma “Nobel Prize”
24 November, 2008
Cervical Cancer vaccine wins “Nobel Prize” of the pharmaceutical world.
GARDASIL®, the vaccine used in the New Zealand cervical cancer immunisation programme, has won the prestigious 2008 International Galien Prize, according to Mike Taylor, New Zealand Country Manager for CSL Biotherapies NZ Ltd.
“An independent jury of clinicians, toxicologists and pharmacologists has awarded GARDASIL the pharmaceutical equivalent of a Nobel Prize” he says.
“The award shows GARDASIL is recognised, beyond doubt, as a breakthrough in the fight against cervical cancer” Mike Taylor said.
And it seems young women in New Zealand already agree with this view. Since the roll-out of the publicly funded vaccination programme in September 2008, higher than expected numbers of 17 and 18 year olds, have headed straight to their GP to get the first shot of the vaccine that will protect them against cervical cancer.
However it is important for girls to know that it’s not just the first shot that is important. The key to having the best possible protection against cervical cancer is ensuring that young women come back for their second and third shots.
To help the girls remember to come back for their second and third shots CSL Biotherapies Ltd developed a quick and easy ‘Remind Me’ compliance programme that alerts young women, by email and text when their remaining shots are due. This GARDASIL ‘Remind Me’ programme has been extremely well received with up 80% of girls joining up to the compliance programme.
While the publicly-funded immunisation programme currently focuses on young women born in 1990 and 1991, a school-based vaccination programme for girls aged 12 to 18 will commence in early 2009.
GARDASIL is the only four-type (6, 11, 16, 18) human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. GARDASIL also protects against cervical, vulvar and vaginal pre-cancer, and genital warts caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. These four types together cause the vast majority of HPV-related genital diseases.
GARDASIL is authorised for use in 107 countries and is widely implemented with 36 million doses distributed worldwide. These figures reflect the strong endorsement by experts, regulators, health authorities, physicians, parents and daughters.
CSL Biotherapies Limited is a global, specialty biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets products to treat and prevent serious human medical conditions. Innovation and new product development for unmet medical needs continue to drive CSL Biotherapies growth. CSL Biotherapies (NZ) Limited was set up in New Zealand in 1992 to provide a range of vaccines and medications to the New Zealand population. Over the past 16 years CSL Biotherapies (NZ) Limited has also held contracts with the NZ Government to supply vaccines ranging from influenza, tetanus, diphtheria and combination vaccines.
About CSL Biotherapies and Merck &
Fundamental technology, contributing to the development of GARDASIL, was discovered in 1991 at the University of Queensland by Professor Ian Frazer and Dr Zhou in collaboration with CSL Biotherapies Limited. In 1995 CSL Biotherapies licensed this technology to Merck & Co., Inc. - parent company of Merck Sharp & Dohme New Zealand (MSD NZ). Merck then undertook an extensive clinical trial programme leading to the development of GARDASIL. CSL Biotherapies markets GARDASIL in New Zealand and Australia. Merck & Co., Inc. markets the vaccine in the rest of the world. MSD NZ has also contributed to the international research efforts for the vaccine by co-coordinating a Phase III clinical trial, with sites in Auckland and Christchurch.
GARDASIL® is a registered trademark of Merck and Co Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J, USA.