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New Lyme Disease Vaccines Both Found to Be Effective

July 23, 1998

Two newly developed vaccines against Lyme disease are probably equally effective, according to final reports on large-scale testing of the competing products published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The two vaccines are similar but not identical. They are LYMErix, produced by SmithKline Beecham, and ImuLyme, made by Pasteur Merieux Connaught.

Both vaccines require three shots and take a year to reach full effectiveness. In the second year, LYMErix was found to be 76% protective against Lyme disease, and ImuLyme was 92% effective. But Dr. Leonard H. Sigal, who directed the ImuLyme study, noted that the volunteer groups who tested the two vaccines were not identical, and this could have accounted for the difference in outcome.

Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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