- First approval of two-dose vaccine for cervical cancer in China
- Vaccine significantly reduces incidence of cancer
- Name change to GSK from GlaxoSmithKline
Pharmaceutical company GSK (GSK) has received approval from China’s Medical Products Administration for its cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix to treat girls aged between 9-14 years.
GSK is the new name for GlaxoSmithKline which became effective on 16 May 2022 ahead of the demerger of its consumer healthcare division, named Haleon, later in the summer.
Cervarix is the first imported two-dose vaccine for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) to be authorised for this age group in mainland China.
HPV is a virus affecting humans which causes diseases from warts to cervical cancer. It is predominantly transmitted through sexual contact.
On a quiet trading day GSK’s shares dropped 1% to £17.37 on Friday.
REDUCING INCIDENCE OF CANCER
Cervical cancer has the highest mortality of all malignant tumours in the female reproductive system in China and led to an estimated 59,000 deaths and 110,000 new cases in 2020.
GSK said vaccination of the female population at appropriate ages may ‘significantly reduce’ the incidence of cervical cancer and precancerous lesions caused by HPV.
The two-dose regimen of Cervarix is approved in around 100 countries including the EU, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The vaccine generated £138 million of sales in 2021, representing around 2% of GSK’s £6.3 billion of vaccine sales.
A register-based study in England showed an 87% reduction for cervical cancer and 97% reduction for precancerous lesions in girls aged 13-14 years.