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Merck Says ZOSTAVAX Reduced Incidence Of Shingles By About 70% In Phase 3 Study

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK: Quote) said data from the pivotal Phase III study with ZOSTAVAX in adults ages 50 to 59 were published in the April 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

ZOSTAVAX is Merck's vaccine for the prevention of herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles. It is the only shingles vaccine licensed for use in the United States.

In the study, ZOSTAVAX significantly reduced the risk of developing shingles by nearly 70 percent in adults ages 50 to 59, compared with placebo. The results from this study provided the data that supported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expanded indication for ZOSTAVAX in March 2011 in this age group.

"The results of this study demonstrate the importance of ZOSTAVAX to help prevent shingles in adults ages 50 to 59. More than 95 percent of adults 50 and older have had chickenpox, putting them at risk for developing shingles," said Myron Levin, one of the study's investigators, and professor of pediatrics and medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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