A team of researchers at the University of Sussex's Sussex Drug Discovery Centre had worked in collaboration with a UK based biotech company ReViral for developing a drug aimed at treating people suffering from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
This virus causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract, especially in young children. In a year, an estimate of 160,000 deaths take place due to this viral infection. Infection with respiratory syncytial virus can become severe especially in premature babies, infants with underlying health, adults with a weak immune system or adults suffering from heart and lung diseases.
RV521 is the first drug originating from work performed at the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre to reach the clinical trial phase. The main objective of the clinical trial is to test the safety and tolerability in healthy volunteers before then evaluating the efficacy in patients. The work was funded by a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Award, received by ReViral to support the project.
The researchers are hopeful about the Phase I clinical trial of this drug, for marking a step forward in developing a new therapy against respiratory syncytial virus.