Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Synagis (palivizumab) returns to AstraZeneca

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, infecting nearly all children in the first two years of life. Infants born prematurely, or children less than two years of age with certain heart or lung diseases, have a greater risk of getting a more serious RSV infection.

Palivizumab is currently the only approved option for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract infections requiring hospitalisation caused by RSV. It is approved for use in paediatric patients with a history of premature birth who are six months of age or younger at the beginning of RSV season. It is also approved for those with bronchopulmonary dysplasia that required medical treatment within the previous six months and who are 24 months of age or younger at the beginning of RSV season, and for patients with hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease who are 24 months of age or younger at the beginning of RSV season.

Susan Dillon, Head of Commercial and Vaccines, AstraZeneca UK, says: "RSV is a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children. We are aware of reports of UK public health modelling predicting a 20 to 50% increase in hospitalisation cases for RSV this autumn and winter compared to normal, so we're focused on ensuring we support the healthcare system to meet the expected demand. With the return of palivizumab to the AstraZeneca portfolio, we are building on our longstanding heritage in respiratory infectious disease and expanding our commitment to improve health outcomes for infants and children under the age of two who are at high risk for RSV."

The AstraZeneca Research and Development centre in Cambridge.

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