March 31, 2009

FDA OKs new Japanese encephalitis vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Ixiaro, a vaccine designed to prevent Japanese encephalitis.

The FDA said Japanese encephalitis is caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus found mainly in Asia and Ixiaro will be the only vaccine for the disease available in the United States.

This vaccine offers protection for individuals who travel to or live in areas where outbreaks are known to occur, said Dr. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Ixiaro is manufactured by Intercell Biomedical Ltd of Livingston, Scotland.