Candidate vaccine against RSV, a common childhood infection



In the United States, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children less than one year old External link and the most common cause for hospitalization in children under five. Worldwide, it is estimated that RSV is responsible for nearly seven percent of deaths in babies aged one month to one year; only malaria kills more children in this age group External link. No vaccine is currently available to prevent RSV infection.


Based upon their previous findings regarding the structure of a critical viral protein, IRP researchers led by Jason McLellan, Ph.D., Barney Graham, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter D. Kwong, Ph.D., developed an experimental vaccine to protect against RSV. When tested in animals, the candidate vaccine elicited high levels of RSV-specific antibodies.


IRP scientists continue to refine the vaccine and hope to launch early-stage human clinical trials of a candidate RSV vaccine as soon as clinical grade material can be manufactured, a process that takes about 18 to 24 months to complete.


McLellan JS, Chen M, Joyce MG, Sastry M, Stewart-Jones GB, Yang Y, Zhang B, Chen L, Srivatsan S, Zheng A, Zhou T, Graepel KW, Kumar A, Moin S, Boyington JC, Chuang GY, Soto C, Baxa U, Bakker AQ, Spits H, Beaumont T, Zheng Z, Xia N, Ko SY, Todd JP, Rao S, Graham BS, Kwong PD. (2013). Structure-based design of a fusion glycoprotein vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus. Science. 342(6158):592-8.

McLellan JS, Chen M, Leung S, Graepel KW, Du X, Yang Y, Zhou T, Baxa U, Yasuda E, Beaumont T, Kumar A, Modjarrad K, Zheng Z, Zhao M, Xia N, Kwong PD, Graham BS. (2013). Structure of RSV fusion glycoprotein trimer bound to a prefusion-specific neutralizing antibody. Science. 340(6136):1113-7.

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, June 20, 2023