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U.S. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention Awards SmithKline Beecham Contract for Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- SmithKline Beecham, distributor of Engerix-B(R) (Hepatitis B Vaccine, Recombinant), today announced that it has been awarded the hepatitis B adult vaccine contract by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hepatitis B is one of the most common preventable infectious diseases in the U.S. and a major cause of infectious liver disease throughout the world. Each year an estimated 300,000 Americans are infected with hepatitis B and 5,000 people die from hepatitis B-related illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. According to CDC, there are 1.2 million carriers of the virus in the U.S. and more than 300 million worldwide.

The highly contagious liver disease is transmitted through close contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. Hepatitis B is most commonly transmitted by sexual contact, maternal-neonatal contact at birth, and shared needle-use, such as for body- or ear-piercing, tattooing, acupuncture and injectable drug use. Occasionally, transmission occurs in household settings of close personal contact, as by sharing toothbrushes or razors.

At 20 mcg, Engerix-B adult dose is the hepatitis B vaccine on the market with the highest antigen content. Controlled studies have shown that certain patient groups who receive a vaccine containing a higher antigen content have a greater rate of seroconversion or seroprotection and achieve greater geometric mean titers (GMTs) of anti-HBs. CDC recommends that special dosing consideration be given to infants born to infected mothers, immunocompromised persons and dialysis patients.

Adverse reactions are generally mild and transient. Most commonly seen adverse reactions include fatigue, soreness, erythema and swelling at the injection site. As with any biological product, serious adverse reactions may occur rarely.

SmithKline Beecham, the parent of SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, the manufacturer of Engerix-B, is one of the world's leading healthcare companies. SmithKline Beecham discovers, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines and health-related consumer products, and provides healthcare services including clinical laboratory testing, disease management and pharmaceutical benefit management.

SOURCE SmithKline Beecham
 -0- 10/4/96


/NOTE TO EDITORS: Full prescribing information available upon request./

/CONTACT: Glenn Silver, 212-845-4211, or Richard Koenig, 215-751-3415, both for SmithKline Beecham/

(SBH)

CO: SmithKline Beecham ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: CON

MM-SH -- NYF063 -- 0606 10/04/96 16:36 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Oct 4, 1996
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