St Peter’s Hospital, part of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of six hospitals involved in the ground-breaking HARMONIE study, looking at how strongly babies can be protected from serious illness caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection.
RSV is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in all infants worldwide and affects 90% of children before the age of two. RSV often causes only mild illnesses, however, for some babies, it leads to more severe lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
The study, which is a collaboration between Sanofi, its partner AstraZeneca and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), is a phase 3b randomised open-label study of nirsevimab in preventing hospitalisations due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants under 12 months.
The HARMONIE study, will include babies from birth and up to 12 months old who are in, or are approaching, their first RSV season. The study will last approximately 12 months and includes a single in person visit, with entirely virtual follow up visits.
Dr Vennila Ponnusamy, PhD, FRCPH Consultant Neonatologist and Neonatal Specialty lead at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, said:
“We’re pleased to be one of six hospitals across the Kent, Sussex and Surrey joining the HARMONIE Study which is looking at protecting and preventing respiratory illness in infants.
“RSV is a common seasonal virus that affects the majority of babies before their second birthday and in most cases causes mild illness. For some babies, RSV can be more severe and may even require admission to hospital.
“We’re delighted that St Peter’s is able to support this very important research into reducing the number of babies needing hospital care for RSV”.
Professor Pankaj Sharma MD PhD FRCP, Director of Research and Development at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, said:
“RSV affects almost every baby at some point and thankfully most completely recovery. However, some do not.
“The ability to test an antibody to the virus before it takes hold is potentially a very important advance. That Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals will play a central part in determining whether this antibody is successful is a testament to the important role that research, and those who undertake it, play at our organisation”.