… and the champagne is well-deserved


As you may have heard by now, Merck just finished a late stage study of their vaccine _Gardasil_, which targets two strains of HPV(Human Papilloma Virus), with exciting results. Rarely does one see 100% efficacy in a clinical trial, and certainly a Phase III/pivotal trial, and more often that that effects are rather modest. Quite frankly, I would have requested a through quality control of the data if I had seen a result like that. (I’ve been known to get weird when I saw funky correlations in data, much less “funky” percentages such as 100%.)

The drug discoverers and developers have probably taken a few well-deserved minutes off to down a glass of champagne, before it’s back to the salt mines putting together the NDA(New Drug Application) submission.

Now, granted, this translates to at least 70% efficacy for HPV(Human Papilloma Virus)-induced cervical cancer, but this is a giant step forward for prevention and treatment. My heartiest congratulations to this team.

bq. “If all goes well, sometime in 2006 it should be on the market,” Barr said.

That’s an aggressive schedule, but with a 100% effective trial under their belts, maybe they can pull it off.

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