Synapse is the project manager for the RESCEU project (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Consortium in Europe), kicked-off on January 12-13, 2016 in Sitges (Barcelona, Spain), which will investigate serious lung infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that particularly affect babies and older people, and those with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients and people with chronic lung diseases such as emphysema.

Diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are estimated to affect more than 30 million children under five each year throughout the world. There are no specific treatments for RSV and there is no vaccine. Current therapies are focused on alleviating the symptoms of the infection.

The consortium, composed by a pull of international experts from 18 universities, public health institutes and pharmaceutical companies, will work to assess the full scale of the problem in Europe (through gathering robust statistics on the number of RSV each year), which is currently unknown, assessing the economic impact of the disease and the burden it places on healthcare systems. Armed with this information, RESCEU will put together best practice guidelines to improve the way RSV-associated disease is monitored across Europe and to advise future vaccination programmes, ensuring that future decisions on RSV prevention and treatment policies can be based on good evidence and made without undue delay.

The consortium also aims to set up a framework to conduct Europe-wide trials of new medicines and vaccines to improve treatment – and even prevention – of the disease.

The project, led by Professor Harish Nair at the University of Edinburgh, was born out of an existing research collaboration called the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network (ReSViNET) which aims to improve understanding of this virus, and to develop safe and effective preventive treatment and prevention strategies. 43 research and public health institutions, patient societies and clinical societies from Europe and rest of the world are also affiliated to the project.

Synapse leads the work package focused on Project Management and the design and implementation of a communication and outreach strategy to key stakeholders. With RESCEU, Synapse is involved already in the management of 10 IMI projects, thus reinforcing the expertise of the company in public private partnerships.

RESCEU is mainly sponsored by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (www.imi.europa.eu).

For more information, contact info@resc-eu.org, check out www.resc-eu.org or follow @RESCEUproject on Twitter.