The Nova Scotia-based clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company Immunovaccine Inc has launched a clinical trial for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine. The company announced that the first healthy volunteer has been enrolled in the phase 1 clinical study for the DPX-RSV vaccine.

The aim of the study is to determine the immune response profile and safety of the DPX-RSV vaccine candidate when it is administered to healthy adults, according to a Vaccine News Daily report.

The new study requires 40 healthy adults between 50 and 64 years of age. Researchers will administer two different dose levels of the vaccine and then determine the patients’ responses. The Vaccine News Daily report notes that the RSV vaccine candidate contains a unique target: a viral protein on the surface of infected cells.

Joanne Langley, investigator for the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, says, “We are pleased to initiate this clinical trial in older adults, a largely underserved population for RSV. By using a vaccine candidate formulated in DepoVax, we are hoping to generate strong immune responses in older individuals.”

“We developed this novel human RSV vaccine candidate in our laboratory at Ghent University and VIB (a non-profit life science research institute), and published those findings in an international scientific journal in 2014,” Ghent University Professor Emeritus Xavier Saelens said. “We are very excited to see Immunovaccine engage in this clinical trial to further advance the vaccine.”

The individuals most at risk for contracting RSV are infants, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly. RSV is the second most commonly identified cause of viral pneumonia in older persons, according to Vaccine Daily News.

Marc Mansour, CEO of Immunovaccine, states, “Currently, there is no vaccine available for the prevention of RSV. A novel and effective vaccine formulated in a strongly immunogenic platform like DepoVax offers great potential for success, and we look forward to the data that will be generated in this clinical trial.”

Source: Vaccine Daily News