Switzerland suspends Glaxo's rotavirus vaccine

Posted on Mar 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:49pm EDTRelated NewsUPDATE 3-Glaxo’s rotavirus vaccine use suspended – US

Mon, Mar 22 2010

ZURICH, March 23 (Reuters) – Switzerland has urged doctors to temporarily stop using GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK.L) Rotarix vaccine, regulators said on Tuesday, making it the latest country to caution against its use.

U.S. authorities and the company said on Monday doctors should temporarily stop using the vaccine against a diarrhoea-causing virus called rotavirus because the vaccine is contaminated with an apparently harmless pig virus. [ID:nN22219667]

In a statement on its website Swissmedic, the Swiss licensing and supervisory authority, said not to use Rotarix until more information is available.

Glaxo (GSK.N) had informed Swissmedic that the DNA from the virus, known as porcine circovirus type 1 or PCV-1, had been found in Rotarix, the authorities said, adding there was little danger for those children who had had the vaccine.

PCV-1 is not known to cause illness in humans, Glaxo said, adding it is found in everyday meat products and is frequently eaten without causing disease or illness.

The World Health Organization said the risks from rotavirus, which kills 500,000 children a year globally, outweigh and potential risks from PCV.

The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has asked British drugs manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to look into how the DNA of a foreign viral strain got into the company’s Rotarix vaccine. [ID:nLDE62L24S] (Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Sharon Lindores)