UK MHRA authorises GSK’s respiratory syncytial virus vaccine for older adults

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised GSK’s Arexvy (respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, adjuvanted) for active immunisation for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults 60 years of age and older.

This is the first time an RSV vaccine for older adults has been authorised for use in Great Britain by the MHRA.

Neale Belson, senior vice president, and general manager UK at GSK, said: “We are very excited by today’s announcement. Our ambition is to help protect adults 60 years of age and older in the UK who are at risk from RSV disease, including those with underlying medical conditions, who drive the majority of RSV hospitalisations. This authorisation for Arexvy means eligible adults can be vaccinated against RSV disease for the first time, reinforcing GSK’s long history of vaccine innovation.”

RSV is a common, contagious respiratory virus that leads to an estimated 175,000 GP visits, 14,000 hospitalisations, and 8,000 deaths each year in adults aged 60 years and over in the UK.  Recent studies indicate that the burden of RSV disease may be even greater than that of influenza in hospitalised older adults. Those with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes and chronic heart and lung disease, drive the majority of RSV hospitalisations.

The authorisation is supported by data from the pivotal AReSVi-006 (Adult Respiratory Syncytial Virus) phase III vaccine efficacy trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this trial, there was high overall vaccine efficacy against RSV-LRTD, including in participants with certain underlying medical conditions.

The vaccine was generally well tolerated. The most frequently observed solicited adverse events were injection site pain, fatigue, myalgia, arthralgia, and headache. These were generally mild to moderate and transient.

The MHRA’s decision follows the European Commission’s authorisation of Arexvy on 6 June 2023. GSK’s marketing authorisation application in the EU was reviewed under the accelerated assessment mechanism because prevention of RSV illness in the older adult population is considered a major public health interest.

Arexvy was the world’s first RSV vaccine for older adults to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Regulatory reviews are ongoing in Japan and several other countries.

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