The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for the first long-acting drug designed to safeguard infants and young children against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus that can lead to severe illness in young children.
RSV is typically a mild illness for healthy individuals, but it poses a serious threat to infants and the elderly. Each year, tens of thousands of American children are hospitalized due to RSV-related complications.
The newly approved injection, marketed under the brand name Beyfortus by AstraZeneca and Sanofi, is a laboratory-made version of an antibody that aids the immune system in fighting off RSV. Infants, including preterm babies, can receive a single injection to protect against their first RSV season, which usually lasts for around five months. Children up to the age of two can receive an additional dose for protection during their second season of potential virus exposure.
Dr. John Farley of the FDA expressed the urgent need for products that can mitigate the impact of RSV disease on children, families, and the healthcare system. While there are currently no vaccines available for infants, pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer are actively working on developing them.
Beyfortus has already gained approval in Canada, Europe, and the U.K., and its introduction in the U.S. will provide an important tool in the fight against severe RSV. The pricing of the treatment in the U.S. has yet to be announced by Sanofi.
This breakthrough approval marks a significant step forward in protecting the youngest members of our society from the dangers of RSV and offers hope for a healthier future for infants and toddlers.
Credits: Review Journal
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