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Respiratory Infections Research & Development

Respiratory infections

Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

The structure of HIV
The structure of HIV

Respiratory infections are among the most common illnesses in humans.

Common Yet Significant Unmet Need

Respiratory infections are among the most common illnesses in humans. The epidemiology of most respiratory infections is characterized by seasonal outbreaks, although some are prevalent throughout the year. Influenza epidemics occur annually during autumn and winter in temperate regions, while in tropical countries influenza viruses circulate throughout the year with one or two peaks during rainy seasons. Hospitalizations and deaths from viral respiratory illness occur mainly among high-risk groups (e.g., the very young, the elderly and the chronically ill).

We are focused on exploring treatment and vaccines for a number of viral infections including influenza, which remains one of the most serious public health challenges globally, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the last of the major pediatric diseases with no available preventive therapy or vaccine.

A major challenge in combatting RSV and influenza is achieving a prompt diagnosis so that an informed decision can be made about a patient’s care. In order to address this unmet need, Janssen Diagnostics, through a collaborative partnership with Biocartis, is making available technology for a diagnostic test that identifies RSV and influenza.

Tackling a Major Pediatric Disease

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that affects the lungs and airways. For children under five, RSV is the most common cause of acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRI). RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States and a major cause of admission to hospital as a result of severe ALRI worldwide.

More than 50 percent of infants are infected during their first RSV season and nearly 100 percent of children contract the virus by their second year. RSV is also an important cause of lower respiratory tract infections in the immunocompromised, the elderly, and in adults with chronic pulmonary diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

We are developing an oral anti-RSV nucleoside analog for the treatment of RSV. We are evaluating the inhibition of the replication of the RSV by acting on the viral polymerase. We are also working on the development of an AdVac®-based vaccine for infants and children up to two years of age evaluating the major RSV subgroups.

Taking a Stand Against Influenza

Influenza occurs globally, with an average of five to ten percent of adults and 20 to 30 percent of children becoming infected with the virus each year. Worldwide, seasonal influenza is estimated to result in about three to five million cases of severe illness, and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Yearly influenza epidemics can seriously affect all populations, but the highest risk of complications occur among children younger than two years old, adults aged 65 years or older, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain medical conditions, such as chronic heart, lung, kidney, liver, blood or metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), or weakened immune systems.

We are developing an influenza A-specific oral polymerase inhibitor. It is a direct-acting antiviral working through the influenza virus PB2 polymerase subunit. This seeks to target an alternative part of the viral replication process to treat strains of the influenza virus that may be resistant to existing antiviral drugs with other mode of actions (MOAs).