ZEIST, THE NETHERLANDS, 15 May 2018 – Today, we proudly announce the official launch of the ReSViNET Foundation as a registered not-for-profit entity under Dutch law. After 4 years of building and shaping the network and months of preparation, the ReSViNET Foundation has officially been founded.
So far, the network has been part of Julius Clinical and we express deep gratitude towards Julius Clinical that supported the initial effort to set up the network from the beginning. Without their active support, ReSViNET would not exist as it does today.
As a foundation ReSViNET is now a financially and otherwise independent regulated entity which represents a major milestone for the entire ReSViNET project. Since the inception of ReSViNET network in 2014, we have continuously been working to fulfil our Vision and Mission: to decrease the global burden of RSV infection through the advancement of research; providing scientific input; involvement in clinical trials; and organising conferences and offering platforms to share the latest developments and reports on groundbreaking studies and in this way helping to move the field forward.
We are exceptionally proud to be the first official Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) foundation and aim to foster global collaboration among researchers, the health sector, governments, international statutory bodies, non-profit organisations and the wider civil society in an effort to coordinate actions and raise awareness about RSV infection and to tackle the challenge of RSV infection prevention and treatment. RSV acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) is one of our most significant global healthcare challenges, not only in infants, but also in older adults and no vaccine is licensed for prevention. It is already affecting 33.1 million children under 5 years worldwide.
We have a lot to share so far – we have published influential scientific papers, we have designed and/or participated in various clinical trials, we were on the basis of the formation of RSV Consortium in Europe (RESCEU), have developed the mobile application ReSViNET Scale App for parents and organised successful conferences for all stakeholders involved in RSV field.
As the ReSViNET Foundation is now standing on solid legal pillars, this milestone represents a vital growth spurt in the ReSViNET project’s maturity. From the start of ReSViNET's inception, we wanted this to be a valuable platform for all RSV community members and believe in the vision, the growth and success of this enterprise. The ReSViNET foundation will keep working hard towards its Mission and Vision as we have done until now. We assure and maintain transparency in our relationships within the foundation and with our partners and collaborators.
It will take a concerted global effort to tackle RSV and we are looking forward to continue and advance our collaborations and partnerships with global leaders, WHO, BMGF, RSV society (ISIRV), PATH, EMA, FDA, pharmaceutical companies, patients and other parties within the RSV community to stimulate development of new therapeutics.
The foundation is thankful to all its partners without whom we would not have reached this milestone.
Louis J. Bont, chair and expert board member
Aize J. Smink, treasurer/deputy chair
Leyla Kragten-Tabatabaie, secretary
Ruben J. Geerdink, MSc; Marije P. Hennus, PhD, MD; Geertje H. A. Westerlaken, BSc; Alferso C. Abrahams, MD; Kim I. Albers, MD; Jona Walk, MD; Esther Wesselink, MD; Riny Janssen, PhD; Louis Bont, PhD, MD; Linde Meyaard, PhD
How to hold neutrophils in check
During RSV bronchiolitis neutrophils are the most abundant immune cells in the lung. Neutrophils are known to produce neutrophil extra cellular traps (NETs) which can induce injury to epithelial cells and hence contribute to disease severity. Neutrophils express several inhibitory receptors including LAIR-1. Whether targeting this receptor could diminish NET release is the question Geerdink and colleagues answer in their article. Their study demonstrates that sputum neutrophils from the lungs of RSV infected patients are highly activated and show increased LAIR-1 expression compared to blood derived neutrophils. More strikingly; targeting LAIR-1 with antibodies inhibited NET formation by 50%. This finding offers an innovative strategy that, together with newly developed antiviral, could contribute to the treatment of RSV bronchiolitis.
To read the full article click here.
Obando-Pacheco P, Justicia-Grande AJ, Rivero-Calle I, RodrÍguez-Tenreiro C, Sly P, Ramilo, Mejias A, Baraldi E, Papadopoulos NG, Nair H, Nunes MC, Kragten-Tabatabaie L, Heikkinen T, Greenough A, Stein RT, ManzoniI P, Bont L, Martinon-Torres F, RESVINET foundation.
RSV infection epidemiology has been the subject of many studies. As novel RSV therapeutics are reaching the final stages of development, the need for epidemiologic data grows. Specifically, seasonality of the virus has a very important role in predicting the epidemic waves. In this article, Martinon-Torres led his ReSViNET colleges to analyse the different patterns and distributions of the RSV worldwide, gathering information from 27 different countries distributed in the five continents. With the inclusion of reports and data mostly from official surveillance programs from the different countries, they manage to produce a powerful, robust and homogeneous report on global country-specific RSV seasonality. They also conducted a literature review of medical databases to complement and enrich the report and to cover for those areas where there is lack of official surveillance programs on RSV. The inclusion of various maps and tables with specific data on the start, end, peak and duration of the RSV epidemic in the different countries allow the readers to easily grasp the situation of the virus in the world per epidemiological week or month. This article emerges as a powerful tool for the future implementation and optimization of the local campaigns and protocols for prevention, diagnose and treatment of RSV infections.
To read the full article click here.
RESCEU was born out of an existing research collaboration called the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network (ReSViNET).
There has been much attention on the news about the outbreak of the RS virus in the Netherland, which is endangering lives of many babies. Children’s hospitals and their intensive care units are overcrowded at the moment. The children's ICs are faced with a massive influx of patients due to the outbreak. For this reason, children were even forced to be treated in hospitals abroad
The virus is characterized by being "a frequent guest around Christmas". During this period the IC units for children are full with babies suffering from pneumonia by the RS virus. Especially for children under the age of 2 years, the virus can be quite stressful. They experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, diarrhoea and vomiting. For children under the age of three months, the virus can be life-threatening. Louis Bont, charmain of ReSViNET was interviewed by the Dutch news channel RTL about the current outbreak in the Netherlands.
To this date, no vaccine against this virus had been developed. We are all working very hard to change that. This outbreak shows the importantance of the ReSViNET and its collaboration with various pharmaceutical companies, policy makers, physicians and researchers all around the world.