Novavax's RSV vaccine for seniors shows promise in Phase Two trials

Novavax’s F-protein vaccine, specifically designed to combat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in older adults, showed promise in its recent Phase Two clinical trials.

“Each year in the United States, approximately 14,000 people ages 65 or older die of RSV infections, and approximately 900,000 have some sort of medical encounter with a doctor, or emergency room, or are hospitalized,” Novavax CFO Barclay Phillips recently told Vaccine News Daily.

The F-protein vaccine is the first attempt to vaccinate for RSV that has shown effectiveness in any population.

RSV also affects infants and young children, infecting more than 64 million worldwide each year. In the United States, 57,000 of those children ages 5 or younger are hospitalized due to RSV. The vast majority of those hospitalized are infants.

A Phase Two trial of the vaccine for the protection of infants via maternal immunization is underway with results expected by the end of the quarter and Novavax intends to develop the product for the pediatric population in the future.

“Women currently receive other vaccines in their third trimester of pregnancy including the seasonal influenza vaccine and a vaccine specifically designed to protect newborns from tetanus via maternal transfer of antibodies,” Phillips explained. “Thus, while the paradigm of maternal transfer of antibodies providing fetal protection is well-established and safe, these trial results will be a breakthrough for the field, as there is currently no vaccine available to protect infants from RSV.”

Novavax hopes for approval for the F-protein vaccine for older adults as early as 2017.

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