Novartis hopeful its new drug will be defence against meningitis B

SWISS drugmaker Novartis said Phase III study data indicated a vaccine it was developing could be the first to provide coverage against a type of meningitis.

Novartis said that in a trial involving more than 3,600 infants the large majority of those vaccinated with the investigational Multicomponent Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine along with other routine vaccines achieved a robust immune response.

Meningococcal disease is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis, an infection of the membrane around the brain and spine. Global incidence of meningitis B infection is estimated to be between 20,000 and 80,000 cases per year, with a 10 per cent fatality rate, Novartis said.

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