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SGS and Bavarian Nordic to Develop a Novel and Differentiated Challenge Model for RSV


SGS announced it has entered into collaboration with Bavarian Nordic A/S, an international biotechnology company specializing in vaccines, to develop a new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) challenge strain.


This will assist with the advancement of a universal vaccine candidate designed to induce protective immune responses against both subtypes (A & B) of RSV.

The project will build upon the results of phase II trials undertaken by Bavarian Nordic, and will include a human challenge study, which will be carried out at the SGS Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Antwerp, Belgium, using the new RSV challenge strain, once it has been fully developed and validated. 

RSV is recognized as a significant cause of respiratory illness in all age groups. It is highly infectious and the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in pediatric populations worldwide, resulting in a high number of hospitalizations. RSV infections are also a serious health concern in the elderly and in adults with cardiopulmonary disease. According to WHO estimates, RSV infects more than 64 million people globally each year and causes a similar number of deaths to those caused by influenza. However, while there is a vaccine to prevent influenza, there is no vaccine to prevent RSV. There are only two subtypes of RSV, A and B, which are typically present either simultaneously or alternately during yearly epidemics.

“This partnership combines expertise from both companies with a view to bring a truly life changing therapy to the market. SGS’s experience in both virus development, and in conducting human challenge trials safely and to exacting standards provides the potential to gain efficacy data concerning the vaccine prior to initiating a phase III study,” commented Adrian Wildfire, Project Director, Infectious Diseases and Human Challenge Unit at SGS.

More information on this collaboration can be found here.