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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

by T-lymphocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils involved in regulating the differentiation, proliferation, and activation of eosinophils via the IL-5 receptor, known as IL-5R. The IL-5R consists of an alpha chain and a beta chain. Expression of the IL-5R alpha chain is restricted largely to eosinophils, basophils, and some mast cells in humans. The alpha-chain exclusively binds IL-5 and the intracellular portion of IL-5Ralpha is involved in cellular activation. Thus, the IL-5R alpha.chain may be a good target for a therapeutic antibody in the management of asthma. Eosinophils, and perhaps basophils and some mast cells, can be preferentially targeted for antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity through IL-5R alpha chain depleting cells thought to be key in disease pathogenesis and severity. In addition, blocking of IL-5R alpha could provide benefit by neutralizing effects of IL-5.

MedImmune's Clinical Development in Asthma

MedImmune has multiple approaches in development targeting asthma. Currently, in human testing, the company has antibodies targeting IL-9 and IL-13, in addition to the anti-IL-5R that is the subject of this press release.

About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that may cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans reported having a history of asthma in 2003, including nine million children. About 20 million said they currently had asthma. In 2000, the CDC reported that there were more than 10 million asthma-related outpatient visits to private physician offices and hospital clinics. The National Institutes of Health have estimated asthma-related healthcare costs in the U.S. at $14 billion annually.

About MedImmune

MedImmune is a leading, innovation-focused biotechnology company whose mission it is to provide better medic
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