UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has filed Synflorix, its pneumococcal vaccine for children, with European regulators.

Synflorix is a 10-valent vaccine that has been developed with “breakthrough technology” using a carrier protein to induce protection against both invasive pneumococcal disease and bacterial respiratory infections, according to the company.

GSK claims its product offers an advantage over current paediatric vaccination because it protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae as well as non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), which, it says, is currently not yet vaccine preventable.

Both S. Pneumoniae and NTHi are leading causes of bacterial respiratory infections such as otis media, an acute infection of the middle ear, which is one of the most frequent childhood diseases and accounts for the most visits to the doctor in children under the age of three. So the fact that Synflorix offers protection against both pathogens will surely give it a market advantage if approval is obtained.

Competitive edge?
Furthermore GSK’s vaccine is active against a wider range of S. Pneumoniae serotypes, which can cause meningitis and invasive pneumonia, than current vaccination, and so offers a broader scope of protection against this baterium, which could also give it a competitive edge.

“If approved, this vaccine could further reduce the mortality due to invasive pneumococcal disease and also the significant morbidity associated with a more frequent disease in children, namely otitis media,” commented Jean Stéphenne, President of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.