Following on Citeline’s report of clinical development activity in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccines, this next piece is a short tour of the locations for the currently ongoing prevention trials for this serious disease. Now that Autumn has arrived, one might expect to see a flurry of RSV trial activity underway in the Northern Hemisphere, where respiratory infection rates rise with the fall of the mercury in the outdoor thermometer. However, while RSV is somewhat similar to other ‘winter’ respiratory infections in transmission, symptoms and “target” populations, it’s not quite as robustly seasonal as other pathogens (eg, influenza). RSV typically occurs in fall, winter and spring but it can vary widely in severity and geographic region from one year to the next.
A look at the 10 ongoing RSV vaccine trials in Trialtrove® shows North America as the most popular trial destination, with the United States (5) and Canada (2) holding top positions. We also find trial locations in Western and Eastern Europe and notably, one trial taking place in ‘the land down under’ – where Spring has just sprung. [Figure 1]
In delving a bit deeper through Sitetrove® to view clinical trial sites and investigators associated with this set of trials, it’s no surprise that investigator location patterns closely mirror those of the countries in which the trials have been placed. The US and Canada contribute nearly 80% of the known investigators identified with these trials. [Figure 2]
Across this cohort of investigators, Family Medicine (27%) is the most common medical specialty, while Obstetrics & Gynecology (maternal immunization studies), Pediatric Infectious Disease and General Pediatrics contribute 21% each. [data not shown] Clinical trial centers are the predominant site type category (35%), followed by academic hospital/clinics and medical practices. [Table 1] Clinical trial centers, with their expertise in healthy volunteer recruitment, are an attractive option for vaccine trial placement.
Compared to other vaccine development programs, the geographic reach of RSV trial activity appears somewhat limited. Ten ongoing trials are currently distributed across just 7 countries. With the growing number of early phase RSV vaccine candidates, trial activity is on the rise and Citeline will be closely monitoring the country, site and investigator locations of these forthcoming trials. But as the popular saying goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. For the sake of good health and fulfillment of an unmet medical need, we wish these vaccines a successful journey.