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GSK European regulatory update on Pandemrix™

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended changes to the product label for Pandemrix. The amendment includes prescribing advice based on information on a potential increased risk of narcolepsy in children or adolescents. This is based onpreliminary results from epidemiological studies on the risk of narcolepsy from Finland, Sweden and France. This does not apply to adults where to date no data support such a change. The EMA state that this is an interim measure pending the outcome of the European review expected to conclude in July 2011.

Issued London UK

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended changes to the product label for Pandemrix. The amendment includes prescribing advice based on information on a potential increased risk of narcolepsy in children or adolescents. This is based onpreliminary results from epidemiological studies on the risk of narcolepsy from Finland, Sweden and France. This does not apply to adults where to date no data support such a change. The EMA state that this is an interim measure pending the outcome of the European review expected to conclude in July 2011.

The label will advise health professionals to perform an individual benefit-risk assessment taking the narcolepsy information into account when considering the use of Pandemrix in children and adolescents.

In recent months data from a number of different countries that have administered Pandemrix indicate a large variability in the number of cases of narcolepsy being reported. The CHMP stated that preliminary results from epidemiological studies from Sweden and France strengthened the signal in children and adolescents although the data had methodological limitations. In other EU and non-EU countries the same signal of an increase in the number of reports of narcolepsy following Pandemrix is not seen. This may indicate the influence of other unknown factors impacting some countries and t his requires further investigation in order to fully understand any potential link.

GSK maintains that further information must be gathered on a potential likelihood of a causal relationship between Pandemrix and narcolepsy before any conclusions can be drawn. It is important to wait for the results of the ongoing European investigation, which includes an epidemiological study of narcolepsy and pandemic vaccines across a network of research and public health institutions (VAESCO) in nine European Union Member States. Preliminary results of the VAESCO study and of the epidemiological study in Canada being conducted by GSK are expected by July 2011.  

GSK is committed to patient safety. The company will continue to work closely with EMA and other national regulatory organisations while the broader, European investigation continues.

Over 31 million doses of Pandemrix have been administered worldwide in 47 countries. A total of 247 cases of narcolepsy in people vaccinated with Pandemrix have been reported to GSK as of 5th April 2011.  

Notes for Editors

Expected wording in section 4.4 to the product information:

Preliminary reports form epidemiological studies in two countries (Sweden and Finland) have indicated a  4-9-fold risk increase of narcolepsy in vaccinated as compared with unvaccinated children/adolescents, corresponding to an absolute risk increase of about three-four additional cases in 100 000 vaccinated subjects. This risk increase has not been found in adults (older than 20 years). Similar epidemiological studies have not yet been conducted in other countries.

The relationship between Pandemrix and narcolepsy is still under investigation.

When considering the use of Pandemrix in children and adolescents, an individual benefit risk assessment should be performed taking this information into account.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

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GlaxoSmithKline cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2010.