Nov 3 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc's experimentalcancer vaccine appeared to provide broader protection against acancer-causing virus than the company's Gardasil shot did inclinical trials, the Wall Street Journal said on Sunday.
The U.S. pharmaceutical company said the study resultssupport its plan to submit the new vaccine, code-named V503, forU.S. regulatory approval by year's end, which could lead tomarket launch next year at the soonest, the paper said.
Officials at Merck were not immediately available tocomment.
The article said Merck expects health-care providers toeventually switch to V503 if the product receives marketingapproval.
Some analysts expect its annual sales could exceed $1billion, the paper said.
Gardasil, launched in 2006, was the first vaccine to protectagainst human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmittedvirus that can cause cervical cancer in women and otherless-common types of cancer in males and females.
Merck ran clinical trials to test the new vaccine's safetyand efficacy, and will present results at an HPV-focused medicalmeeting in Florence, Italy, this week, the paper said.
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