PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A vaccine developed by the University of Washington School of Medicine to target respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is now undergoing testing in human clinical trials. 

The University of Washington said its researchers created the nanoparticle technology that is the basis for the candidate vaccine. 

The vaccine showed promise in Phase 1 trials earlier in 2022

The new trial is testing a slightly altered version of the shot in the form of a bivalent vaccine against both RSV and human metapneumovirus. 

Initial results from this trial should be available in mid-2023.  

In the current trial, older adults are enrolled to receive the vaccine. All trials for the vaccine are being conducted through the Seattle-based biotechnology company Icosavax. 

Neil King, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said the vaccine is marching forward in clinical development. 

“We’re hoping that it will be available in a very short time, maybe a couple of years,” he said. 

King’s  lab pioneered the vaccine nanoparticle technology, which formed the basis of a COVID-19 vaccine that was approved for clinical use in South Korea in the summer of 2022. 

“Now that we’ve had the SARS-CoV2 vaccine go all the way through clinical trials and be proven to be safe and effective, that has clinically de-risked the platform. And so now we’re able to go back and focus on applying it to some of these other large, unmet medical needs,” he said. 

King said almost everyone is infected with RSV by the time they turn 2 years old. It’s a common virus and many people experience it multiple times throughout their life. 

For healthy adults, RSV doesn’t pose much of a danger, but for babies younger than 1, it can cause major health concerns. It can also be dangerous for older adults.