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In Europe, a Sanofi Astra Drug Protects Infants From RSV

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In Europe, a Sanofi Astra Drug Protects Infants From RSV

(CTN News) – It has been approved for use in Europe by Sanofi and AstraZeneca Plc’s Beyfortus. This is to protect infants against respiratory syncytial virus, a common infection that can cause death in young children.

According to Sanofi, the European Commission has approved the antibody injection for use in newborns before their first RSV season.

Researchers found that a single shot reduced the likelihood that babies would require medical care for lower respiratory tract infections caused by the pathogen in clinical trials.

During early trading on Friday, Sanofi and Astra shares were little changed.

The approval is the second bright spot this week in scientists’ decades-long quest to blunt the detrimental effects of RSV, which can cause pneumonia and hospitalization in infants, and kills tens of thousands of children each year.

A late-stage trial for Pfizer’s RSV vaccine candidate met a critical endpoint on Tuesday. According to a Sanofi spokesperson, AstraZeneca and Sanofi plan to launch Beyfortus in the winter of 2023-2024.

A US application has been submitted, and acceptance is expected later this year. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the medicine will generate sales of over $800 million by 2026.

According to a global agreement, the companies will share all costs and profits for the product. According to the company’s website, AstraZeneca is responsible for development and manufacturing, marketing,

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended Beyfortus for approval in September.

In the field of virology, RSV has long been a thorny challenge. This is because it infects almost everyone by the age of two and then recurs repeatedly over the course of a lifetime. In most cases, it causes only a common cold, but it can be dangerous for those with weak immune systems, as well as young children with small airways.

In 2019, there were approximately 33 million cases of acute lower respiratory infections leading to more than three million hospitalizations, according to a statement from AstraZeneca. According to the report, there were 26,300 deaths among children under the age of five in hospitals.

Decades of stagnation

For decades, scientists were unable to develop a vaccine for RSV. Attempts in the 1960s to give infants an inactivated form of the virus backfired, killing two participants.

Every time researchers attempted to weaken the virus sufficiently to make it safe, it failed to elicit a strong enough immune response.

However, novel approaches have been developed in recent years. A vaccine candidate from Pfizer is injected into pregnant women in order to provide protection for their unborn children.

In contrast, Sanofi-AstraZeneca’s therapy consists of a long-acting antibody that targets the virus and prevents lower respiratory tract infections caused by RSV.

There are other companies, including Meissa Vaccines Inc, that are experimenting with new methods to make live-attenuated vaccines, which may offer an alternative to the traditional trade-off between safety and efficacy.

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