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|MedImmune to Collaborate With National Institutes of Health to Develop Pandemic Influenza Vaccine|
- Attenuated, Live Intranasal Vaccine May Provide Broader Protection and
Help Facilitate Immunization
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEDI) announced today that is has entered into an agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to develop investigational pandemic influenza vaccines. Under this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), MedImmune scientists will work together with leading researchers of the NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases to produce and test versions of MedImmune's attenuated, live intranasal influenza vaccine for use against different types of potential pandemic influenza strains, including one based on H5N1, which is a strain of avian influenza.
MedImmune will use its proprietary reverse genetics technology to develop the pandemic vaccines. The technology will allow MedImmune and NIAID researchers to alter potentially harmful portions of influenza viruses, such as the hemagglutinin protein of the H5N1 virus strain, and to rapidly produce attenuated vaccine strains, thereby accelerating vaccine production. In the interest of public health, MedImmune has also offered licenses for its reverse genetics technology to U.S. and international health authorities and other vaccine manufacturers developing pandemic influenza vaccines.
"As a U.S.-based influenza vaccine manufacturer, MedImmune is committed to working with public health agencies such as the NIH in preparation for a pandemic emergency," said James F. Young, Ph.D., president, research and development. "With the occurrence of several avian or 'bird' influenza cases in Asia this year, the development of a pandemic vaccine is a proactive step toward protecting the health of our nation. An intranasal pandemic vaccine may help facilitate and expedite influenza vaccinations for more Americans in the event of a pandemic outbreak."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, possible advantages of attenuated, live influenza vaccine include its potential to induce a broad mucosal and systemic immune response, its ease of administration, and the acceptability of an intranasal rather than intramuscular route of administration.(1) A version of MedImmune's attenuated, live intranasal vaccine will be investigated as a collaborative effort in the clinical development program, led by NIAID's Kanta Subbarao, M.D., and Brian R. Murphy, M.D., under the CRADA.
In the U.S., influenza causes seasonal epidemics of disease resulting in approximately 36,000 deaths each year, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A pandemic occurs when a new strain of influenza virus is introduced to the public for which no prior immunity exists. Recent outbreaks of avian influenza in Asia emphasize the need for the United States to be prepared in the event of a pandemic.
About MedImmune, Inc.
MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians, rewarding careers to employees, and increased value to shareholders. Dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live better lives, the company is focused on the areas of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammatory diseases. With approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, MedImmune is headquartered in Maryland. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.medimmune.com.
This announcement contains, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, in particular, related to the research and development of a potential pandemic influenza vaccine. Such statements reflect management's current views and are based on certain assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties discussed in MedImmune's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance is received, such products will ultimately achieve commercial success.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention and Control of Influenza. MMWR 2005;54(RR08):1-40
SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.
|"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding MedImmune's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.|