Frimley, 2 October, 2014 – Bexsero® (Meningococcal Group B Vaccine [rDNA, component, adsorbed]), the first and only broadly protective Meningitis B vaccine, has been awarded this year’s prestigious UK Prix Galien Innovative Product Award.
The UK Prix Galien recognises outstanding achievements in the evolution of medicines and is widely regarded as the highest distinction to bestow upon a pharmaceutical product.
Rino Rappuoli, Global Head of Research and Development at Novartis Vaccines said: “It is a great privilege to win the UK Prix Galien Award and a testament to the 20 years of innovation and pioneering research which led to the development of Bexsero. With this vaccine, currently the only effective way to prevent MenB, we hope that no family in the UK has to endure the loss of a loved one from this vaccine preventable disease.”
Professor Sir Michael Rawlins was Chairman of the Prix Galien judging panel. He commented: “Bexsero was the unanimous winner of the Innovative Product Award. Invasive meningococcal disease manifests as either meningitis and/or septicaemia – which can be difficult to diagnose – and its rapid progression. Developing a vaccine, however, has been extremely difficult. It is therefore fantastic that the pioneering research at Novartis has led to the use of genomic techniques in creating a broadly protective vaccine. Bexsero has already been recommended for inclusion in the UK’s immunisation schedule for infants, and we warmly applaud our new found ability to address what was a big gap in childhood disease prevention.”
Around 3,200 people are affected by bacterial meningitis and septicaemia each year in the UK and MenB accounts for more than half of all cases . About one in ten of those who contract the disease will die despite appropriate treatment . Up to one in five survivors may suffer from devastating and costly, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, hearing impairment or limb loss .
Bexsero was developed using an award-winning scientific approach that involved decoding the genetic makeup of MenB . This innovative approach provides the foundation for a new generation of vaccines that can help prevent other diseases with a significant diversity of disease-causing strains.
Bexsero has been licensed in the UK since January 2013 and in March 2014 the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that Bexsero should be offered to all UK infants from two months of age as part of the National Immunisation Programme . The price for the National Immunisation Programme is being negotiated in a confidential procurement process between Novartis and the Government. The procurement process is now underway.
About the UK Prix Galien
The UK Prix Galien is organised and managed by the specialist market access agency WG Consulting. The awards are held every two years, and is a prestigious independent award designed to recognise the significant contribution the pharmaceutical industry makes in clinical research and drug development. The 2014 ceremony was hosted by former shadow Minister for Health, the Rt Hon Sir Kevin Barron, MP who once again was the event’s Parliamentary Sponsor. For more information please visit the Prix Galien website at www.prixgalien.co.uk.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 135,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
. Meningitis Research Foundation. Meningitis and septicaemia: UK facts and figures. Available at: http://www.meningitis.org/facts. Accessed October 2014.
. Health Protection Agency. Epidemiological Data. Available at: www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/MeningococcalDisease/EpidemiologicalData/ Accessed October 2014.
. Rosenstein NE, et al. Meningococcal disease. N Engl J Med 2001;344:1378-88.
. Rappuoli R. Reverse vaccinology, a genome-based approach to vaccine development. Vaccine 2001;19:2688-91.
. EMA. Authorization Details for Bexsero. Available at: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/medicines/002333/human_med_001614.jsp& mid=WC0b01ac058001d124. Accessed October 2014.
. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Position statement on use of Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine in the UK. Published Friday 21 March 2014. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/294245/JCVI_Statement_on_MenB.pdf. Accessed September 2014.
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