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Sanofi Expects Rollout of RSV Shot for Infants Before Fall Virus Season
Sanofi anticipates that its RSV shot for infants will be available in the United States before the respiratory virus season this fall, according to a company spokesperson. The French drugmaker, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, developed the monoclonal antibody known as Beyfortus, which received FDA approval recently. Sanofi is confident in its manufacturing and capacity to meet the demand for the RSV shot during the upcoming season.
Working with the CDC
Sanofi is working closely with a panel of independent advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the administration guidelines for Beyfortus. They are aiming to include the RSV shot on the U.S. childhood immunization schedule. The Affordable Care Act mandates most private insurance to cover shots on this list without any out-of-pocket costs for families. However, there is still uncertainty regarding whether Beyfortus will be included in the federal Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccinations for free to financially struggling families. The CDC advisors will make a decision on inclusion in the program following their meeting in August.
The Role of Beyfortus
Beyfortus is a monoclonal antibody that functions similarly to a vaccine. It injects protective antibodies directly into the bloodstream to stimulate the body's immune system and guard against viral infections. This makes it unique as the first shot approved in the United States that protects all infants against RSV, regardless of their health status or medical conditions. Unlike another available shot called palivizumab, Beyfortus is not limited to preterm babies or those with heart or lung conditions. Clinical trials have shown that Beyfortus is up to 75% effective in preventing lower respiratory tract infections in infants compared to those who did not receive the injection.
The Impact of RSV
RSV is a significant cause of hospitalization among infants in the United States, with nearly 100 deaths reported each year. Last fall, RSV infections overwhelmed children's hospitals, leading to calls for a public health emergency declaration by the Biden administration. The approval and rollout of Beyfortus aim to address this critical health issue and provide protection for infants during the upcoming respiratory virus season.
Conclusion: The Impact on New Businesses
The anticipated rollout of Sanofi's RSV shot for infants, Beyfortus, before the fall virus season has the potential to impact new businesses in the healthcare industry. Here's a "hot take" on the implications:
1. Increased demand for vaccination services: With the approval of Beyfortus as the first shot to protect all infants against RSV, there will likely be a surge in demand for vaccination services. This presents an opportunity for new businesses focusing on pediatric healthcare to provide administration and distribution of the RSV shot. These businesses can partner with healthcare providers to ensure infants receive the necessary vaccinations.
2. Potential financial challenges: While the Affordable Care Act mandates most private insurance to cover shots on the U.S. childhood immunization schedule, uncertainty remains about Beyfortus's inclusion in the federal Vaccines for Children program. This program provides free vaccinations to financially struggling families. New businesses in the healthcare industry may face financial challenges if Beyfortus is not included in the program, as they may need to navigate payment options and offer affordable solutions for families.
3. Collaboration opportunities: The collaboration between Sanofi and AstraZeneca in developing Beyfortus highlights the importance of partnerships in the pharmaceutical industry. New businesses can explore collaboration opportunities with established pharmaceutical companies to co-develop and distribute vaccines for other diseases or health conditions. This could lead to innovation and growth within the healthcare sector.
In conclusion, the rollout of Beyfortus presents both opportunities and challenges for new businesses in the healthcare industry. By leveraging the increased demand for vaccination services, navigating potential financial hurdles, and exploring collaboration opportunities, these businesses can make a positive impact in the fight against respiratory virus infections and contribute to the overall well-being of infants.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/21/sanofi-expects-infant-rsv-shot-before-virus-season-this-fall.html