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RSV-P – Preparing for the Next Step in RSV Immunization

The FDA has announced the approval of GSK’s Arexvy, making it the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) available for individuals >60 years-old. RSV is a common respiratory virus that leads to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing; however, in elderly and infant populations infection can cause severe illness and even mortality.

Vaccine development had faced challenges due to complications in properly characterizing specific viral proteins. It was the discovery of the structure of the F protein in the 2000s which led to rapid development of antibodies which could target circulating RSV. Once formulated, the efficacy of Arexvy was demonstrated in the Phase III AReSVi-006 trial, where it was found to decrease the risk of developing RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease by 82% in elderly patients.

This approval comes on the heels of a major spike in reported RSV infections across the US and Canada, and while currently under review by Health Canada, marks an important step in reducing the burden of disease of respiratory infections.

Written by Philip Russell


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