Pfizer Inc. Takes Its Shot at a Vaccine for Evasive MRSA Superbug

Published: May 23, 2013

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Kathrin Jansen is a microbiologist with at least two breakthrough vaccines to her name: she brought the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil to market for Merck and helped develop the $4 billion a year pneumonia and meningitis vaccine Prevnar 13 for Pfizer. Jansen's next vaccine success could come by taming the superbug MRSA, a drug-resistant bacterium that she has seen ravage a healthy man up close and personally. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infects an estimated 53 million people globally and costs more than $20 billion a year to treat. In the United States alone, MRSA kills 20,000 Americans each year, exceeding annual deaths from AIDS. Jansen watched the infection unfold two years ago when visiting her stepfather, who was in the hospital for a hip replacement.

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