Merck's GARDASIL receives approval from FDA Advisory Committee

Merck & Co., Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee agreed that efficacy, immunogenicity and safety data from clinical trials in males support the use of GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16 and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] in boys and men 9 through 26 years of age for the prevention of genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 and 11.

"Merck has been committed to pursuing the use of GARDASIL in both males and females since the vaccine was discovered over a decade ago," said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., executive vice president, and president of Merck Research Laboratories. "We are pleased that the Advisory Committee agrees that the data support the use of GARDASIL in boys and men.”

The committee’s recommendation will be considered by the FDA in its review of the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) that Merck submitted for GARDASIL in December 2008. The FDA is not bound by the committee’s guidance, but takes its advice into consideration when reviewing vaccines. Merck expects a decision from the FDA in the fourth quarter of 2009 after the agency has completed its review of Merck's application.

“Today's discussion with the Advisory Committee brings the public health community closer to being able to provide GARDASIL to both men and women," said Anna R. Giuliano, Ph.D., Moffitt Cancer Center.

GARDASIL has been approved for use in the U.S. since June 2006 and is currently indicated for use in girls and young women 9 through 26 years of age for the prevention of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18; genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11; and precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. More than 50 million doses have been distributed worldwide through June 2009, although the number of doses administered is not known.

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