The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended for approval a meningitis B vaccine from Novartis. This would be the first vaccine to be licensed for this strain of meningitis, which accounts for the vast majority of cases in the UK.
Dr Matthew Snape, Consultant Paediatrician and Vaccinologist in the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, said:
“We were delighted to hear today’s news that a new vaccine against meningitis will be licensed, having played a major part in this vaccine’s development.
“The vaccine targets serogroup B meningococcus (MenB), a major cause of childhood meningitis in the UK and other industrialised countries. Given the disease most commonly targets young children, having been able to enrol large numbers of healthy children into these trials has been incredibly important for this vaccine’s development. Indeed, we administered the first dose of this vaccine ever given to a child, just over 5 years ago. Seeing that the vaccine is now going to be licensed is very rewarding.”
Professor Andrew Pollard, who heads the Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University, said:
“The licensure of a group B meningococcal vaccine is a big step forward towards the hope of controlling this devastating disease.”