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Originally published Monday, February 22, 2010 at 1:45 AM

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Novartis gets US approval for meningitis vaccine

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said Monday that its meningitis vaccine Menveo has been approved for use in teenagers and adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Associated Press

BASEL, Switzerland —

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said Monday that its meningitis vaccine Menveo has been approved for use in teenagers and adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Menveo is a vaccine against four common types of bacterial meningitis, which affects between 1,000 and 3,000 people each year in the United States.

The U.S. regulator approved the drug for people between 11 and 55, Novartis said.

Bacterial meningitis causes swelling of the membrane that covers the brain or spinal cord and can lead to death within 48 hours.

Novartis said it is continuing clinical trials for the use of the vaccine in other age groups.

The drug received a positive recommendation from the European Union's regulator in December, and Novartis says it expects full EU approval in the coming months.

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