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expert reaction to GSK announcement about RSV vaccine for older adults

GSK has announced positive pivotal phase III data for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate for older adults.


Prof Andrew Easton, Emeritus Professor of Virology, University of Warwick, said:

“RSV is a major problem in the elderly, as it is in young children.  RSV in the elderly can be extremely serious and in some circumstances life-threatening, particularly in care homes and similar settings.  The impact of RSV in the elderly is not fully known but some studies have suggested that a large proportion of deaths in the elderly that are assigned to flu may actually be due to RSV, which also occurs most often around the time of the usual ‘flu season’ in the winter months. At the moment there is no treatment for the elderly other than supportive approaches such as providing oxygen to help breathing. If this treatment is successful, it would be a significant step in reducing this disease burden.”



Declared interests

Prof Andrew Easton: “I have some patents together with a colleague describing a general antiviral that works against RSV but this is not yet tested in humans and if it ever is it will be some years yet.”

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