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GSK’s Shingrix able to prevent shingles in autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients

GlaxoSmithKline said on Wednesday that new data from a Phase III clinical study supports the safety and efficacy of Shingrix ((Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) in preventing shingles (herpes zoster) when given to adults 18 years and above shortly after undergoing autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (auHSCT). Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant adjuvanted subunit vaccine given intramuscularly in two doses.

The vaccine reduced overall complications linked to shingles episodes by 77.76%. Its efficacy for the prevention of post-herpetic neuralgia, a form of chronic nerve pain and the most common complication associated with shingles, was 89.27%. No safety issues related to the vaccine were detected during the study.

“The immune systems of these stem cell transplant recipients is substantially weakened compared to the general older adult populations studied in other Shingrix efficacy trials,” said Emmanuel Hanon, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccines R&D for GSK. “This puts them at much higher risk for viral diseases like shingles and, at the same time, makes developing an effective vaccine to help protect them more challenging.”

“Today’s results, demonstrating the vaccine’s ability to help prevent shingles and its complications with just two doses, may provide a much-needed benefit to these patients considering the high incidence and burden of disease they face,” he said.

Shingrix is the first shingles vaccine to combine a non-live antigen, to trigger a targeted immune response, with a specifically designed adjuvant to generate a strong and sustained immune response.

GSK is evaluating these results together with those of other Phase III studies in immune-compromised patient populations. All these data will be shared and discussed with regulatory as well as public health agencies with the objective of best informing health care providers on the use of Shingrix in those patients with greatest medical need.

Shingrix is now approved in Canada and US for the prevention of herpes zoster in adults aged 50 years and above. Regulatory reviews are currently underway in the European Union, Australia and Japan.

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