News Feature | March 15, 2014

Novartis Receives Recommendation For Bexsero Vaccine In Australia

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Novartis announced that it has received positive clinical recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) for Bexsero (Meningococcal Group B Vaccine [rDNA, component, adsorbed]) against meningitis B. The recommendation follows the drug’s licensure as well as recent access milestones in several European regions including areas in Italy and Germany.

Andrin Oswald, Division Head of Novartis Vaccines, said “For a vaccine-preventable disease, every child lost or disabled is one too many. These regional milestones are a testament to the public health benefits of Bexsero and we are hopeful that governments around the world will continue to act with a sense of urgency to help protect those most vulnerable from the devastation of meningitis B.”

Meningitis B is lethal and rare disease which can cause death or serious life-long disabilities within 24 hours of onset. It is the leading cause of meningococcal disease and septicemia in the developed world. Due to the speed in which it can kill or debilitate, vaccination is considered one of the best defenses against meningitis B.

Bexsero has been privately available since 2013 with over half a million doses delivered to date. The licensed broad coverage vaccine is approved in the EU, Canada, and Australia for prevention of meningitis B. In addition, the drug has won positive recommendation in the following areas:

  • In Italy, the Board of Calendario per la Vita, comprised of the country's foremost scientific societies, has recommended Bexsero for all infants with three doses in the first year of life and one dose at 13 months of age.
  • In Germany, Bexsero is recommended by the German Academy of Child and Adolescent Medicine (DAKJ), a leading pediatric association.
  • Poland has a clinical recommendation for routine vaccination with Bexsero for infants, children and adolescents (starting at 2 months of age).
  • The Czech Vaccinology Society has recommended vaccination with Bexsero for infants, toddlers and children (ages 2 months to 10 years), adolescents (ages 13-15 years) and other high-risk individuals.

The drug is currently under consideration for inclusion in the National Immunization Program in Australia.