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FDA panel supports GSK vaccine

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GlaxoSmithKline got good news today from federal health officials.

The Food and Drug Administration's vaccine panel said that the vaccine Cervarix successfully blocked the main virus that causes cervical cancer and appeared safe for females age 10 to 25.

If the FDA follows the group's advice — as it typically does — and approves Cervarix, GSK would finally be able to compete against Merck's vaccine Gardasil. That vaccine has been on the market since 2006.

Cervarix is already approved for use in Europe. Its U.S. launch has been delayed while the FDA reviewed more data from GSK.

According to the American Cancer Society some 11,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year.

London-based GSK has more than 5,000 employees in the Triangle and has its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park.

Its ADRs (American Depositary Receipts akin to common stock) closed today at $39.22 up 20 cents.

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About the blogger

Mary Cornatzer has worked at The News & Observer for more than 25 years, covering the local music industry, state movie industry and travel. She has been the paper's Business editor since 2000. Contact Mary at 919-829-4755 or e-mail her.