Covid-19 could scupper Glaxo’s next vaccine push

Developing vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus has been tough at the best of times. But now is an expecially poor moment to be testing vaccines – aside from those for Covid-19 – given that social-distancing measures are impeding the spread of other infections. These worries have not stopped Glaxosmithkline, which today said it was pushing its second RSV vaccine candidate, GSK3844766A, into phase III. The project is being tested in old adults who, along with infants, are at the biggest risk from RSV. During a fourth-quarter earnings call Glaxo execs brushed off concerns that Covid-19 lockdowns might hurt the trial’s chances, noting that by the first six to nine months of this year most old adults should have received a Covid-19 vaccine. Whether this will lead to more social mixing – and, crucially for Glaxo, more RSV transmission – is the big unknown. Glaxo needs to succeed here: it counts its adult and maternal RSV projects among 10 potential blockbusters slated for launch by 2026. And the net present value of Glaxo’s RSV projects, according to Evaluate Omnium, is $1.7bn. Given what is at stake, perhaps the group might have been better off waiting for social-distancing measures to ease before pressing on.

GSK's respiratory syncytial virus vaccine push
Project Setting Vaccine type Status Trial details
GSK3888550A Maternal Recombinant protein Ph3 Grace (NCT04605159), interim data H2 2022
GSK3844766A Adults >60 years old Recombinant protein, adjuvanted Ph3 Aresvi 004 (NCT04732871), interim data H2 2022; Aresvi 006 to start in coming months
GSK3389245A Paediatric Recombinant chimpanzee adenoviral vector Ph2 Ph1/2 in sero-naive infants (NCT03636906); ph2 in sero-positive infants (NCT02927873)
Source: EvaluatePharma,

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