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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Commercial rights for RSV drug revert to AstraZeneca Australia, while new approach is looming on the horizon

Health Industry Hub | October 1, 2021 |
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Pharma News: Today, commercial rights to the monthly vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) officially reverted to AstraZeneca from AbbVie in Australia, as a result of the end of an agreement between the organisations.

Synagis (palivizumab) treats RSV, a common seasonal virus infecting nearly all children in the first two years of life. Infants born prematurely, or with certain heart or lung problems, have a greater risk of getting a more serious RSV infection.

Liz Chatwin, Country President AstraZeneca Australia & New Zealand, said “Respiratory syncytial virus is one of the most common causes of early life wheezing illnesses and is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children worldwide leading to more than three million hospitalisations globally each year. With the return of Synagis to the AstraZeneca portfolio, we are building on our longstanding heritage in respiratory infectious disease and expanding our commitment to improve health outcomes for infants who are at high risk for RSV.”

Since announcing the rights reversion in July 2020, AstraZeneca has partnered closely with AbbVie to ensure both optimal stock levels throughout the transition and full accessibility to all high-risk infants for whom it is prescribed for protection against RSV.

Meanwhile, there is a new approach to RSV on the horizon. Sanofi’s nirsevimab, being developed in partnership with AstraZeneca, demonstrated protection against RSV in the Phase 3 MELODY trial. This is the first investigational extended half-life monoclonal antibody (mAb) given once to all infants at birth or the start of the RSV season.

Nirsevimab is also being evaluated in a Phase II/III MEDLEY trial which will assess the safety and tolerability of nirsevimab compared to Synagis among preterm infants and children with chronic lung disease (CLD) and congenital heart disease (CHD) entering their first and second RSV seasons. The Phase II/III trial is also expected to complete early with first data anticipated in the coming months.


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