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Sanofi, Merck's Vaxelis gets US FDA approval to prevent 6 diseases in children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Sanofi and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Vaxelis as a vaccine to prevent certain diseases in children from 6 weeks through 4 years of age.

Vaxelis, which was developed as part of a joint partnership between Sanofi and Merck, received the FDA's approval to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, hepatitis B and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b.

Sanofi and Merck said in a Dec. 26 news release that they are planning to maximize production of Vaxelis to allow for a "sustainable supply to meet anticipated U.S. demand."

Commercial supply of Vaxelis will not be available in the U.S. before 2020.

The European Medicines Agency has already approved Vaxelis as a primary and booster vaccination in infants and toddlers from the age of 6 weeks for the same diseases.