Focus on RSV Awareness Week | Modis

Focus on RSV Awareness Week

Paul Peeters Posted 01 December 2020

Globally, an estimated 33 million young children are diagnosed with RSV each year, over 3 million cases require hospitalisation. Annually, the virus causes 118 000 deaths. Shocking numbers that need extra attention. During the RSV Awareness Week, which takes place yearly, around mid-November, we interviewed our Consultant Life Sciences, Paul Peeters, on the subject and on Modis Life Sciences’ involvement.

  • Q: What is RSV Awareness Week?
    Paul: RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a virus that infects the lungs and respiratory system. To raise awareness, the RSV Patient Network has started an annual RSV Awareness Week. This year’s edition, with the theme ‘Follow your instincts!’, has one goal: emphasizing the importance of parents trusting their instincts when they feel something is wrong with their child. The campaign shows the different stages parents experience whilst caring for a child with RSV.
  • Q: Why is it organized now?
    Paul: It’s a recurring issue that falls right during the peak of the RSV season. Two potential vaccines and a monoclonal antibody to protect against this virus are in Phase III of the clinical studies, which has been shared widely via the RESCEU press release. Simultaneously, a group of scientists from the ‘REspiratory Syncytial virus Consortium in EUrope’ (in short RESCEU) published a supplement in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (Nov 2020) revealing the impact of RSV as the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in infants and children worldwide.

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  • Q: What is the ambition of the project?
    Paul: RESCEU is a project, under the umbrella of the public (EU) – private (EFPIA) partnership Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), that has the vision to integrate and exploit existing knowledge and data to provide greater insights into the impact of RSV on health systems and societies throughout Europe. The project aims to actively engage stakeholders in order to improve strategic planning and decision-making. It also seeks to access existing clinically annotated biological specimens from prospective studies and to supplement this with bespoke clinical studies to create a powerful new bio-repository for future research.
  • Q: You are involved in RESCEU?
    Paul: Yes, I am involved in RESCEU from the data management and data preservation perspective with focus on asset sustainability post-funding period. Through project management and life science consultancy via an EFPIA partner, Modis Life Sciences aids RESCEU in tackling this virus head on. There is a lot of data to be made FAIR and thus properly maintained. We are supporting the governance of this multistakeholder collaboration and driving knowledge management as well as outcome sustainability across their six work packages. We further collaborate in RESCEU by creating or reviewing deliverables and manuscripts for peer reviewed journal publications.
  • Q: Any last advice for parents?
    Paul: Epidemiologically, RSV season is now. Many children become ill in these months. My advice to parents is to reach out to doctors when you notice symptoms. Consult the sources below for more information on detection and the risks of RSV. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case!


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