MedImmune has announced that data from a preclinical study for its lead vaccine candidate to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus type-3 (PIV-3) has shown a protective immune response against both viruses in animals.
The results of the study, published in the October 2004 issue of the Journal of Virology, support the continued development of vaccine candidates to prevent these two leading causes of respiratory illness in young children. The data also serve as a platform for the development of other vaccines to protect infants from various respiratory infections. MedImmune is planning to file an investigative new drug application (IND) to begin clinical testing of a RSV/PIV-3 vaccine candidate as soon as the end of 2004.
According to the study, RSV-neutralizing antibodies were identified in African Green Monkeys following administration of a bivalent vaccine for RSV and PIV-3.
"We are encouraged by the results of the preclinical study and are hopeful that we will continue to receive positive data from our ongoing research with our PIV-3/RSV vaccine candidate," said Richard Spaete, Ph.D., senior research director at MedImmune. "Such results take us one step closer to developing vaccines that have the potential to prevent these serious pediatric respiratory viruses as well as others such as human metapneumovirus."
RSV, PIV-3 and hMPV are viruses that cause serious respiratory disease, particularly in young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children worldwide, typically occurring during the fall and winter months. PIV-3 is the leading cause of croup, an acute lower respiratory disease most often observed in young children. A recently identified virus, hMPV is believed to cause serious lower respiratory tract infections in young children.
The study published in the Journal of Virology is entitled "Parainfluenza Virus Type-3 Expressing the Native or Soluble Fusion (F) Protein of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Confers Protection from RSV Infection in African Green Monkeys."
MedImmune has recently published additional studies in support of its pediatric respiratory vaccine platform. A study published in a June 2004 issue of the Journal of General Virology showed that hamsters, ferrets and African Green Monkeys supported hMPV replication efficiently and produced high levels of hMPV-neutralizing antibodies. In a study in an August 2004 issue of Journal of Virology, researchers announced recovery of cloned hMPV, a technique which provides the potential to generate vaccines that may eventually be useful in preventing hMPV infection.