GSK and Pfizer respiratory disease jabs get muted US backing

GSK and Pfizer’s new respiratory syncytial virus vaccines received unexpectedly lukewarm backing from an ACIP panel yesterday. The panel’s conclusions will inform the CDC’s final decision on how to recommend use of these vaccines in old people in the US. The experts voted more heavily in favour of use in 60 to 64-year-olds than in those over 65, on concerns about lack of evidence in very elderly people. Either way, the recommendation was for vaccination based on individual circumstances, known officially as “shared clinical decision-making”, rather than routine vaccination of the population. Commercially speaking this is something of a blow, although perhaps GSK was anticipating this outcome – it has long cautioned that the RSV market would take time to build. The company’s stock dropped as much as 2% in London today, with investors shrugging off new two-season data revealing GSK's Arexvy to bestow more durable protection than Pfizer’s Abrysvo. Still, GSK’s disclosure that a second shot given at 12 months made no difference to the length of protection shows that many questions remain about how these jabs are best used. RSV remains an opportunity with much to prove.

ACIP votes on single-dose RSV vaccination using shared clinical decision-making
  Patients aged 65+ Patients aged 60-64
For 9 13
Against 5 0
Abstain 0 1

Note: GSK and Pfizer used different definitions for severe disease in their pivotal trials. 

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