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MedImmune Advances Asthma Program With Start of Phase 2 Clinical Trial for Antibody Targeting IL-5 Receptor
Date:12/4/2008

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune today announced that it has initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with chronic asthma to determine the safety of subcutaneous dosing of a humanized monoclonal antibody (MAb) that targets the interleukin-5 receptor (IL-5R). Preclinical data suggest that inhibiting the IL-5R pathway may lead to a targeted approach for treating patients with asthma, supporting continued study of this antibody.

"Asthma can be a very debilitating disease, and despite current therapies, patients are in need of novel treatment options," said Nestor Molfino, M.D., vice president, clinical development, pulmonary disease. "Some asthmatics may show an increased circulation of eosinophils in blood -- a certain type of white blood cell believed to play a critical role in the severity and disease pathway of asthma; therefore administration of this antibody may increase asthma control."

MEDI-563, which was generated using BioWa's POTELLIGENT(TM) Technology platform, has previously been investigated in a Phase 1 open-label dose-escalating study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a single intravenous infusion in adults with mild-to-moderate asthma. Data from the completed Phase 1 study demonstrated that the antibody was well-tolerated with biologic activity producing substantial and prolonged depletion of blood eosinophils, thus supporting its continued development. Published literature suggests that reduction of eosinophils in sputum was associated with better asthma control and increases in sputum eosinophilia were associated with exacerbations of asthma. The antibody is also currently being evaluated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety and tolerability and effects of the antibody on airway eosinophils in adults with asthma.

About Interleukin-5 Receptor (IL-5R)

Interleukin-5 is a cytokine secreted predominantly
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