An investigational drug called ALS-008176 lowered viral loads and alleviated clinical symptoms in adults with RSV in an early-stage trial.

Total symptom scores (area under curve for daily score) through day 16 for three dosing regimens of the investigational drug, called ALS-008176, ranged from 73 to 113, versus 607 for the placebo group in the small trial, reported John P. DeVincenzo, MD, of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and colleagues.

The active drug was also associated with reductions in cumulative viral load of 73% to 88% relative to placebo, and the mean time to nondetectability of virus ranged from 1.3 to 2.3 days, versus 7.2 days for placebo, according to the researchers’ report in the Nov. 19 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

There were no serious adverse events or treatment discontinuations in the study, DeVincenzo and colleagues also indicated.

RSV is relatively benign for most adults but can be very serious in children, causing up to 190,000 deaths worldwide each year, mainly in less-developed nations. Infection can also be deadly in the frail, elderly, and immunocompromised adults.

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