The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced it is exiting its investigational respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) adult vaccine program and discontinuing its phase 3 EVERGREEN study.

According to a press release from the company, the decision to discontinue the RSV adult vaccine program is part of a broader effort to make strategic choices for its pipeline and research and development investments to focus on medicines with the greatest potential benefit to patients. 

“By periodically refocusing our portfolio, Janssen ensures that we are deeply invested in products that have the power to transform patients’ lives,” says Bill Hait, MD, PhD, executive vice president, chief external innovation and medical officer, and interim head of Janssen research and development, in a press release. “We remain focused on advancing our differentiated pipeline, improving the lives of millions of patients, and developing new modalities in areas with the greatest unmet medical need.”

The late-stage EVERGREEN study began recruiting participants in 2021 to demonstrate the efficacy of the active Ad26.RSV.preF-based study vaccine in the prevention of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction confirmed by RSV-mediated lower respiratory tract disease when compared to placebo in adults aged 60 years and above.

The study was set to follow Janssen’s phase 2b CYPRESS study, which showed in late 2021 that the vaccine candidate was highly effective in protecting against three clinical definitions of lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV, demonstrating vaccine efficacy of 70 to 80% in adults aged 65 and older.