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'Somebody will benefit': Lexington doctor leading RSV vaccine charge

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Oct 11, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) doesn’t get as much notoriety as the seasonal flu, or COVID-19, of course, but it can be every bit as damaging. And it’s no longer a virus that’s contracted mostly by babies and toddlers.

“The elders sometimes have COPD, or asthma, heart disease, or any disease that’ll interfere with respiratory function,” said Dr. Mark Adams. “A respiratory infection, like RSV, gives us the same consequences, or potential consequences as babies,” he continued.

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Dr. Adams specializes in internal medicine while focusing in recent years on disease research and prevention with Lexington-based, Alliance for Multi-Specialty Research (AMR). His is one of 15 teams of scientists around the county working on a vaccine to prevent RSV. Right now, they are in phase three of clinical trials.

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“This vaccine has been tested. It’s been brought up and developed and been through its phase-one and phase-two trials. And what we see is a preliminary success, if you will, or its efficacy is there,” Dr. Adams said.

Dr. Adams believes his RSV vaccine trial results could be sent to the FDA for approval sometime in 2022, which, if approved, would be a game-changer for the tens of thousands of Americans who come down with RSV, a good portion of whom require hospitalization.

“RSV has proven to be more of a player than I thought back in 1966,” Adams said of his time as a young man in this late teens.

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But as that has changed about RSV over time, so has our ability to treat and prevent these diseases.

“We grew up treating disease. Now the vaccines can offer us the potential of avoiding them,” Dr. Adams said.

Dr. Adams and his team are always looking for paid clinical trial participants in many areas of their medical research. If you are interested in seeing if you qualify, click here.