FDA grants Wyeth fast track for infant pneumonia vaccine


COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has granted fast track designation to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for infants and toddlers, Wyeth announced Thursday.

The vaccine includes six new serotypes of invasive pneumococcal disease in addition to the seven that its Prevnar Pneumococcal 7-valent Conjugate Vaccine already treats.

Pneumococcal disease is the number-one cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than 5, according to the World Health Organization. Caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, it is a family of illnesses comprising pneumonia, meningitis and upper respiratory tract infections.

Introduced in 2000, Prevnar achieved sales of $2.44 billion in 2007, according to Wyeth’s annual report.

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