(Adds details on Gardasil sales; Cervarix)
WASHINGTON Dec 21 Dr. Julie Gerberding, former
director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, was named president of Merck & Co Inc's (MRK.N)
vaccine division, the company said on Monday.
Gerberding, who led the CDC from 2002 to 2009 and stepped
down when President Barack Obama took office, will head up the
company's $5 billion global vaccine business that includes
shots to prevent chickenpox, cervical cancer and pneumonia.
She had led CDC from one crisis to another, including the
investigation into the anthrax attacks that killed five people
in 2001, the H5N1 avian influenza, the global outbreak of
severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and various
outbreaks of food poisoning.
"As a preeminent authority in public health, infectious
diseases and vaccines, Dr. Gerberding is the ideal choice to
lead Merck's engagement with organizations around the world
that share our commitment to the use of vaccines to prevent
disease and save lives," Merck Chief Executive Officer Richard
Clark said in a statement.
She may be charged with reigniting flagging sales of Merck's
Gardasil vaccine to prevent cervical cancer by protecting
against human papillomavirus or HPV. After an encouraging
launch Gardasil sales have been falling and were down 22
percent in the third quarter at $311 million.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) (GSK.N) has won U.S.
recommendations for its rival HPV vaccine, Cervarix and has
been marketing the vaccine in the developing world.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox and Bill Berkrot; editing by Gunna