FDA expands approval of 9-valent HPV vaccine


The approval of the 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been expanded to include an older age group, men and women aged 27-45 years, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Oct. 5.

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The vaccine (Gardasil 9) was previously approved for those aged 9-26 years.

The approval “represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in the FDA statement announcing the approval.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing,” he added.

Gardasil 9, approved in 2014, covers the four HPV types included in the original Gardasil vaccine approved in 2006, plus five additional HPV types.

The approval is based on the results of a study and follow-up of about 3,200 women aged 27-45 years, followed for an average of 3.5 years, which found that the vaccine was 88% percent effective “in the prevention of a combined endpoint of persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine,” according to the FDA. The vaccine’s effectiveness in men in this age group is “inferred” from these results and from data on Gardasil in men aged 16-26 years, as well as “immunogenicity data from a clinical trial in which 150 men, 27 through 45 years of age, received a 3-dose regimen of Gardasil over 6 months,” the FDA statement noted.

Based on safety data in about 13,000 men and women, injection-site pain, swelling, redness, and headaches are the most common adverse reactions associated with Gardasil 9, the statement said. Gardasil 9 is manufactured by Merck.

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