Cervarix, a cervical cancer vaccine produced by Glaxo Smithkline (Britain's biggest drug manufacturer) is being registered for approval by the European regulatory authority. If approved, the vaccine would be marketed for commercial use, by the end of next year.
Gardasil, a similar vaccine produced by the US pharmaceuticals giant Merck has already been registered for use in the US. It has been proposed to register Cervarix in the US, end of this year. Following registration, the drugs will have to pass through a phase of investigation by the regulators before it can be made available in the drug market.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer in women. A majority of the cervical cancers in women can be attributed to the human papilloma virus (HPV). Search of a vaccine to protect against HPV infection represents on one of the active areas of drug development.
The market for the cervical cancer vaccine has been projected to be approximately $4bn. 'Eleven years ago people first isolated HPV as an agent of cervical cancer. It is a great milestone that 11 years later we are filing to prevent it', said Andrew Witty, President, Glaxo SmithKline.