Sanofi Pasteur MSD is in the process of developing a vaccine called Gardasil against cervical cancer. The regulatory approval for the new vaccine is being sought by the organization in Europe and the US. The European Medicines Agency for Sanofi Pasteur MSD has to approve of the marketing authorization for selling the product in Europe.
Gardasil is reported to have a decided advantage over GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix. Both the drugs are equally effective when it comes to dealing with the human papillomavirus which causes cancer. The papillomavirus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted is the cause of 70% of the cervical cancer cases, and as many as 75 to 80 million women in Europe and the US alone suffer from this ailment.
The disease is fatal if it goes undetected. There are however controversial opinions being voiced with regard to the vaccines being administered to girls who are yet to reach the age when sexual activity commences, as it is opined that it will encourage sexual activity at a very young age. Gardasil may receive approval in the US well before Cervarix is submitted for approval. The European license for Gardasil may be issued towards end 2006.
The Gardasil vaccine is effective against HPV 16 and 18 strains, in addition to 6 and 11 which are responsible for genital warts. The product is expected to be available in Europe in a year if it gets the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).