UPDATE 1-Pfizer wins Europe approval for new vaccine

Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:50am EST

* Decision on Prevenar 13 follows backing in Sept

* U.S. FDA ruling due on Dec 30

NEW YORK Dec 11 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) has won European approval for a more protective form of its blockbuster vaccine that fights pneumonia, the company said on Friday.

The approval of Prevenar 13 was expected after the European Medicines Agency endorsed it in September.

Prevnar, as the product is known in the United States, was one of the major franchises that Pfizer obtained in its $67 billion acquisition of Wyeth, which closed in October.

The newly approved product is a form of the vaccine to prevent infections among infants and children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.

It is designed to protect against 13 serotypes, or forms, of a bacterium called streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) that can cause diseases ranging from ear infections to pneumonia and meningitis.

A U.S. advisory panel endorsed Prevnar 13 in November and a decision by the Food and Drug Administration is due by Dec 30. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)