* European Medicines Agency backs new version of vaccine
* More-protective form of blockbuster Prevnar
* New vaccine will compete with Glaxo’s Synflorix
(Adds details, background)
LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency said on Friday it had recommended approval of Wyeth's WYE.N more protective form of its blockbuster Prevnar vaccine, which is sold as Prevenar in Europe.
The experimental product, called Prevnar/Prevenar 13, is a new form of the blockbuster vaccine to prevent infections among infants and children.
It is designed to protect against 13 serotypes, or forms, of a bacterium called streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) that can cause an array of diseases, ranging from ear infections to pneumonia and meningitis.
Wyeth is in the process of being acquired by Pfizer PFE.N, which is seeking a major move into vaccines with the deal.
Recommendations for marketing approval by the European agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.
The new version of Prevnar will compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s 10-serotype Synflorix, which won approval in Europe in March. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler)
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