The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) for the prevention of certain diseases caused by nine types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Covering nine HPV types, five more HPV types than Gardasil (previously approved by the FDA), Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.
Gardasil 9 is a vaccine approved for use in females ages 9 through 26 and males ages 9 through 15. It is approved for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, and for the prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 or 11. Gardasil 9 adds protection against five additional HPV types—31, 33, 45, 52 and 58— which cause approximately 20 percent of cervical cancers and are not covered by previously FDA-approved HPV vaccines.
“Vaccination is a critical public health measure for lowering the risk of most cervical, genital and anal cancers caused by HPV,” says Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The approval of Gardasil 9 provides broader protection against HPV-related cancers.
A randomized, controlled clinical study was conducted in the U.S. and internationally in approximately 14,000 females ages 16 through 26 who tested negative for vaccine HPV types at the start of the study. Study participants received either Gardasil or Gardasil 9. Gardasil 9 was determined to be 97 percent effective in preventing cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers caused by the five additional HPV types (31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). In addition, Gardasil 9 is as effective as Gardasil for the prevention of diseases caused by the four shared HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18) based on similar antibody responses in participants in clinical studies.
Due to the low incidence of anal cancer caused by the five additional HPV types, the prevention of anal cancer is based on Gardasil’s demonstrated effectiveness of 78 percent and additional data on antibodies in males and females who received Gardasil 9.
The effectiveness of Gardasil 9 in females and males ages 9 through 15 was determined in studies that measured antibody responses to the vaccine in approximately 1,200 males and 2,800 females in this age group. Their antibody responses were similar to those in females 16 through 26 years of age. Based on these results, the vaccine is expected to have similar effectiveness when used in this younger age group.
Gardasil 9 is administered as three separate shots, with the initial dose followed by additional shots given two and six months later. For all of the indications for use approved by the FDA, Gardasil 9’s full potential for benefit is obtained by those who are vaccinated prior to becoming infected with the HPV strains covered by the vaccine.
The safety of Gardasil 9 was evaluated in approximately 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness and headaches.
Gardasil 9 is manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.