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RSV vaccine trialled at Barwon Health approved by US FDA

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

International Clinical Trials Day: Local clinical trials team makes an impact on global stage

As researchers across the world come together to recognise International Clinical Trials Day (20 May 2023), one local team will be celebrating a recent announcement of a new vaccine set to make a big impact across the globe.RSV vaccine photo KE BS ML

Barwon Health’s Adrian Costa Clinical Trials Centre (ACCTC) have recently collaborated with GSK on the world’s first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for older adults.

Just this week, the US FDA approved GSK’s new Arexvy vaccine. The ground-breaking approval will enable adults aged 60 years and older to be protected from RSV disease for the first time.

The vaccine will launch to coincide with the North American 2023/24 RSV season.

RSV is a common contagious virus affecting the lungs and breathing passages. Older adults are at high risk for severe disease due in part to age-related decline in immunity, and older adults with underlying conditions are at even greater risk for severe disease.

RSV can exacerbate conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and chronic heart failure and can lead to severe outcomes, such as pneumonia, hospitalisation, and death.

As part of the trial, 26 local volunteers participated over the last two years.

Local participant Margaret Lourey (pictured) was pleased knowing she had been a part of a study that would save lives across the globe.

“Knowing I’ve been a part of helping to produce a vaccine that would help people across Australia and the world is really exciting. The team here at the clinical trials centre have been wonderful and I’ve found it to be such a rewarding experience,” she said.

According to GSK, each year approximately 177,000 adults 65 years and older are hospitalised in the US due to RSV; an estimated 14,000 cases result in death. This vaccine will help this group of people at higher risk of serve illness.

Barwon Health’s Professor Eugene Athan OAM says RSV is a common illness across the community, and having local people involved in the study has been a positive outcome,

“There have been 2384 recorded cases of RSV over the past 12 months in the Barwon South West region. Our community’s participation was integral to this trials success and our 26 local participants should feel proud about what they have been a part of.”

Barwon Health’s Clinical Trial Manager Kate Ellis says that International Clinical Trials day is a celebration of the achievements of modern medicine,

“The research teams here at Barwon Health have a long history of running successful clinical trials, and this latest vaccine is just another example of how important clinical trials are in the discovery of new vaccines and other treatments. Over the past 20 year’s our teams have led many clinical trials that have gone on to save many lives.”

For more information on clinical trials that are currently recruiting at the Adrian Costa Clinical Trials Centre, please click here.