Bronchiolitis is a disease that recurs every winter. Caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), it can lead to lung complications in frail people, but also in children. 90% of children get it during the first two years of life and it is the second leading cause of infant death, the newspaper reports The echoes. However, there is currently no vaccine that can achieve broad vaccination coverage. Currently, only AstraZeneca’s Synagis, a monoclonal antibody, is available. Intended for premature babies whose lung system is not yet mature, it is very expensive and requires five injections, without being highly effective. However, things may soon change.
A vaccine for childhood bronchiolitis
Several major pharmaceutical companies are working to develop a bronchiolitis vaccine. While some want to target the elderly and / or the frail, others want to create an injection for children. Sanofi and AstraZeneca have joined forces and are the most advanced in this area, according to information from Echoessince they have applied for marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), whose response is expected between September and November 2022, and are preparing to submit one to US health authorities.
The product is called Nirsevimab and is a monoclonal antibody injection. Clearly, we inject antibodies directly into the body, which will not produce them on its own. In the words of our colleagues, this method “It makes sense for children, because their immune systems aren’t capable of it yet.” The vaccine in question has been tested on 2,350 children and is 79.5% effective against severe forms of the disease requiring medical attention.
When will this bronchiolitis vaccine be available?
We will have to wait a little longer before we can vaccinate children against bronchiolitis. Although the EMA authorizes the commercialization of Nirsevimab in the fall, it will not be available in France this winter, RTL explains. It will then be necessary to obtain the authorization of the French health authorities, which in turn will study the clinical data before giving the go-ahead or not. According to the radio, this process usually takes about a year, and then the price at which the vaccine will be sold has to be negotiated. Sanofi therefore hopes that the first injections can take place during the winter of 2023.
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