- Shingles vaccine application submitted in Japan for 18+ adults

- Extends use to younger population with compromised immune systems

- Shingrix is one of GSK’s fastest growing products

Pharmaceutical giant GSK (GSK) said Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had accepted a regulatory submission for its shingles vaccine Shingrix to prevent shingles in adults aged 18 and over.

Shingrix is already approved in Japan for adults over the age of 50. The submission includes individuals whose immune systems are compromised or suppressed by other know diseases.

These individuals are at greater risk of shingles and associated complications than individuals with healthy immune systems.

In Japan, adults aged over 18 with compromised immune systems have a higher incidence of shingles. This includes developing a ‘severe intermittent or continuous long-term nerve pain that occurs in areas of skin previously affected by shingles.’

GSK shares ticked up 0.5% to £17.73 on Tuesday. GSK plans to demerge its consumer healthcare business unit Haleon by listing shares on the London Stock Exchange on 18 July 2022.

Haleon is expected to become a member of the FTSE 100 index. Qualifying GSK shareholders will be given one share in Haleon for each GSK share they own.

WHAT IS SHINGLES?

Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus and lays dormant in the body after infection. Ageing reduces the effectiveness of the body’s natural immune system which can allow the virus to resurface later in life.

Symptoms include a painful blotchy rash, headache or upset stomach. Globally over 90% of adults over the age of 50 are infected with chickenpox virus and are at risk of developing shingles.

The shingrix vaccine was approved by the UK and EU medicine regulators on 25 August 2020 to prevent shingles and severe long-term nerve pain in adults with increased risk of shingles.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine to prevent shingles in adults aged 18 years or older at increased risk of shingles due to compromised immune systems in July 2020.

Shingrix is one of GSK’s blockbuster products with sales jumping to £698 million in the first quarter of 2022, driving a 36% increase in vaccine sales to £1.7 billion.

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Issue Date: 28 Jun 2022