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GSK's shingles vaccine wins approval in Europe, Japan

The European Commission and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved GlaxoSmithKline Plc's shingles vaccine Shingrix for use in adults 50 years old and above.

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

In Europe, the vaccine is also indicated to prevent post-herpetic neuralgia in the same patient age group. Post-herpetic neuralgia is a common complication of shingles characterized by chronic nerve pain in the rash areas.

The approval was backed up by the results of a phase 3 trial where the vaccine showed a 90% effectiveness against shingles.

Shingrix received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2017.