the EU approves a preventive treatment against the disease

This treatment with synthetic antibodies directly provides the body with the weapons to fight against the disease, unlike a vaccine, which allows the body to develop these antibodies itself.

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The European Union (EU) has approved a preventive treatment for bronchiolitis, at a time when a strong epidemic is hitting several countries, including France, the AstraZeneca and Sanofi groups, which are developing this drug, announced on Friday November 4. The European Commission has approved this treatment, nirsevimab, “for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in infants”detailed the French group Sanofi.

Nirsevimab, sold under the name Beyfortus, is not strictly speaking a vaccine, but works with the same preventive intention: administered in one injection, it aims to prevent the occurrence of bronchiolitis. It is a treatment with synthetic antibodies, which directly provides the body with the weapons to fight against the disease. In contrast, a vaccine allows the body to develop these antibodies itself.

The approval of this treatment marks an important first in the fight against bronchiolitis, even if it will not be distributed quickly enough to influence this season’s epidemic. “Beyfortus will be available for the next season – 2023 – of bronchiolitis”, Sanofi told AFP. It is the first medicine to be able to prevent severe forms of bronchiolitis in all babies. Another preventive treatment, also produced by the Swedish-British group AstraZeneca, already exists, but it is only indicated for children at risk or premature babies.

>> “Children are poorly treated”: the bronchiolitis epidemic illustrates the crisis that is shaking hospital pediatric services

Bronchiolitis is a disease that strikes mainly babies and which, although generally not serious, causes symptoms that are often spectacular and sometimes require hospitalization. For the time being, there is no vaccine against this disease which is currently at the origin of an epidemic of an unprecedented scale for several years in France and in other European countries.

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