GlaxoSmithKline has been boosted by a recommendation from Europe's regulator for approval of a two-dose schedule for Cervarix which is currently licensed as a three-dose cervical cancer vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for a two-dose schedule in nine-14 year -old girls for Cervarix (Human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 vaccine, recombinant). The recommendation comes a few weeks after Phase III data was unveiled which showed that two doses of the jab for the aforementioned age group provide an immunogenicity matching the  three-dose schedule in 15 to 25 year olds.

Thomas Breuer, head of GSK Vaccines, noted that the CHMP positive opinion "represents another major milestone in our commitment to reducing the global burden of cervical cancer which remains high". He added that "many countries are unable to implement national immunisation programmes in young adults with high coverage [and] a two-dose vaccine schedule has the potential to be easier to deliver…thereby expanding the population that could benefit from protection".

HPV vaccine for boys in UK?

Meantime The Guardian has reported that UK government advisers are to consider whether Cervarix and Merck & Co's HPV vaccine Gardasil should be offered to boys and some men.

The newspaper says that draft minutes of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation reveal it is to review "all the issues" on HPV, including whether vaccination would help cut the risk of anal and throat cancers among men who have sex with other men as well as a universal vaccination programme given to pre-teen or teenage boys.

The JCVI is also to look at whether the programme for girls should modified given the likely move to two-dose schedules, The Guardian writes.