Novavax RSV F Vaccine is Highly Immunogenic With Robust Transplacental Antibody Transfer in Preclinical Maternal Immunization Model
Direct immunization of infants is complicated by their immature immune systems which are unable to fight off viral infection early in life when infants are most vulnerable to RSV. In mammals, the passage of maternal antibodies to offspring is largely achieved either by in utero transplacental transfer of immunoglobulin G antibodies (IgG) or by postpartum breast-feeding of colostral milk containing high levels of IgG and sIgA.2 For human infants, maternally-derived IgG appears to be provided entirely in utero, via transplacental Fc receptor-mediated antibody transfer.2 The protective effects of human serum IgG, transferred from mothers to infants in utero,2 against a number of infections, including influenza and pertussis, has been well-described.3-5
Presumptive pregnant guinea pigs were immunized with the RSV F Vaccine on gestational days 25 and 46. The vaccine induced high levels of anti-F IgG antibodies, palivizumab-competing antibodies (PCA) and microneutralizing titers. The peer-reviewed manuscript also demonstrates transfer of placental anti-RSV antibodies, as measured by a number of immunoassays, at days 15 and 30 postpartum.
“RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalizations in the U.S. and a significant unmet need in full-term infants,” said
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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections and the leading viral cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and young children worldwide, with estimated annual infection and mortality rates of 64 million and 160,000, respectively.6 In the US, RSV is responsible for approximately 57,000 hospitalizations of children under five years of age annually, the vast majority of which occur in infants less than one year old, and especially those under six months of age.7-11 Despite the induction of post-infectious immunity, repeat infection and lifelong susceptibility is common.12 Currently, there is no approved RSV vaccine available. Palivizumab is a monoclonal antibody, licensed and sold by MedImmune as Synagis®, that targets the RSV F protein and is used for prophylaxis against RSV disease in high risk infants.
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