Drugmakers target vaccines for a new market: pregnant women

Drugmakers are heading into unmarked territory with the development of vaccines for pregnant women, according to Bloomberg.

Companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax and Pfizer are working on baby-protecting vaccines for expectant mothers that target group B strep and respiratory syncytial virus. The shots may benefit babies before they're eligible for pediatric vaccines since a woman can transfer antibodies to the fetus during pregnancy.

Bloomberg predicts that boosters could become a routine aspect of pregnancy, with the market for baby-protecting vaccines growing as large as the pediatric vaccine market, according to Moncef Slaoui, PhD, retiring chairman of Glaxo's vaccine division.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a vaccine specifically created to safeguard unborn babies, the agency is open to working with manufacturers to develop such inoculations.

While it could be years before these types of vaccines enter the market, data from Novavax's trial of its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine could be available as soon as 2018.

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