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HPV vaccine prevents 90% of cervical pre-cancer cases in Scotland, research shows

Routine vaccination of girls in Scotland against HPV has led to a dramatic drop in cases of cervical cancer, according to a paper published in the BMJ.

The vaccine has almost eliminated cases of cervical pre-cancer in young women since the immunisation programme was introduced ten years ago, as the number of cases fell by as much as 90%, the research says.

MSD announced collaboration with Brazilian non-profit over development of dengue vaccine

US firm Merck & Co have announced a collaboration with the Brazilian non-profit Instituto Butantan, with the intention of developing vaccines for mosquito-borne virus dengue fever.

The pair have licensed rights from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the development of live, attenuated tetravalent vaccines.

Insituto Butantan’s dengue fever vaccine candidate TV003, is currently being evaluated in a large Phase 3 study in Brazil.

HPV vaccine to be given to boys in England

The government has announced that boys in England aged 12 and 13 will be vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) a sexually transmitted virus which has been linked to various forms of cancer.

Philippine FDA orders Sanofi to pull dengue vaccine ads

Sanofi has suffered a major blow to its dengue immunisation programme in the Philippines after it was requested the company and its vaccine arm Sanofi Pasteur pull all advertisements for its preventative treatment Dengvaxia in the country.

Under legislation active since 1989 on the authority of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, it is illegal to advertise any ethical or prescription pharmaceuticals in the region.

Pfizer buys vaccine developer Redvax

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Adding to its latest string of deals Pfizer has acquired vaccine developer Redvax – the pre-clinical arm of Swiss company Redbiotec.

The agreement gives the US pharma giant access to a pre-clinical human cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate, as well as property and a second undisclosed serum programme. The shot will add to Pfizer’s already robust research portfolio of investigational injections.

EU and drug industry set aside €280m for Ebola

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Ebola vaccine

The EU's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has unveiled a new programme to find vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for Ebola, funded to the tune of €280 million.

The IMI - which operates as a partnership between the European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry - says it is now seeking proposals for projects that "will help make a difference in the current and future outbreaks". 

The money brings the total investment by the EU into tackling Ebola to €805 million, with DG Sanco pledging €525 million to the cause earlier this year.

Twitter useful for tracking HIV outbreaks

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A visual map showing the location of HIV-related tweets

A study by UCLA researchers has shown that Twitter and social media can be used as a practical real-time tool for locating HIV outbreaks.

Published in the journal Preventive Medicine and conducted through the Center for Digital Behavior at UCLA, the research involved collecting 553,186,061 tweets and then mapping their locations visually. 

Vaccines Conference in Belguim, 4th - 5th December 2013

Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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