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St. Jude Children’s teams up with Serum Institute of India to commercialize RSV vaccine

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 9th, 2017

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Serum Institute of India have teamed up to develop and commercialize a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes serious lower respiratory infections. RSV is particularly dangerous for infants, but currently there are no approved vaccines on the market. Under the research and development partnership, Serum Institute of India will undertake clinical trials of the patented vaccine known as SeVRSV, which was initially developed at St. Jude.

“If we can demonstrate the safety and advocacy of the vaccine, which we expect to do, then we would like to see the vaccine used around the world in essentially every newborn baby globally so that we can prevent [RSV] in the future,” says Julia Hurwitz, a researcher at St. Jude and co-developer of the vaccine.

It is estimated that globally as many as 34 million children younger than five may experience an acute lower respiratory infection from RSV every year. An estimated 10% of these cases may lead to hospitalization.

According to Hurwitz, the vaccine is expected to be available for use in the next five to ten years. “It could cost mere pennies,” she comments.


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