Okairos today announced the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial evaluating a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of hospital admissions in infants and children. This clinical trial will enroll 40 healthy adult volunteers in the UK, with endpoints measuring the vaccine's safety and immunogenicity.
RSV is responsible for up to 126,000 infant hospitalizations for pneumonia or bronchiolitis every year in the US alone, according to the World Health Organization. There are currently no vaccines that protect children against RSV infections, and treatment options are limited.
Dr Riccardo Cortese, Chief Executive Officer of Okairos, said: "RSV is an area of significant unmet medical need and represents a major cause of illness in young children. We believe there will be great demand for a prophylactic vaccine that could help to reduce the burden RSV places on families and healthcare systems. We're very excited to be advancing our vaccine into first-in-man studies."
Okairos has evaluated its RSV vaccine candidate in well-established preclinical models and found that it stimulates both a strong neutralizing antibody and a robust T-cell response. Okairos' vaccine candidate has also been shown to provide complete protection against RSV infection in challenge experiments in both cotton rats and neonatal calves, as well as an excellent safety profile, both before and after challenge.