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MedImmune Broadens Focus of Venture Capital Fund to Include New Therapeutic Areas

- Expands Staff to Continue Record of Investment Success -

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune, the operationally independent worldwide biologics unit of AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), today announced that its highly successful venture capital fund, MedImmune Ventures, will broaden its focus to include areas of strategic interest to both organizations by adding the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, pain and central nervous system disorders and gastrointestinal disease. Traditionally, MedImmune Ventures has focused its efforts on the areas of infectious disease, oncology and inflammatory disease. Since its inception in 2002, MedImmune Ventures has invested in 22 companies.

"We look forward to making meaningful investments in these additional therapeutic areas," said Edward T. Mathers, executive vice president, corporate development and venture, MedImmune. "Now that we are more fully aligned with AstraZeneca's core areas of interest, we are able to help both MedImmune and AstraZeneca to stay at the forefront of novel science with a direct window to the most innovative start-ups in the biotechnology industry."

Mr. Mathers and MedImmune President & CEO David M. Mott currently lead MedImmune Ventures. To accommodate the broader disease area focus, MedImmune Ventures has added Maggie Flanagan LeFlore, Ph.D. and Eva M. Jack as managing directors to its team of experts that oversee the assessment of all new investment opportunities. Previously, Dr. LeFlore was on assignment from AstraZeneca to the healthcare and life science venture investment team at Advent International, and Ms. Jack was director, business development at MedImmune. Also, Joseph L. Amprey, M.D., Ph.D. was promoted to managing director of MedImmune Ventures following the June 2007 retirement of its president, Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D. Franklin H. Top, M.D., who has been with MedImmune since 1988 and is the company's former medical director/head of clinical development, rounds out the MedImmune Ventures team as senior vice president.

About MedImmune Ventures

MedImmune Ventures is a corporate venture capital fund with $300 million under management that invests in early-to late-stage, public or private biopharmaceutical companies focused on discovering and developing human therapeutics. The primary strategic areas of interest are antibodies and peptides/proteins, other various biologics, small molecules and vaccines. MedImmune Ventures will also examine investment opportunities related to new technologies and programs related to translational sciences, and the intersection between diagnostics and drug development. Investments range from seed funding through public investments in private equity.

Created to promote entrepreneurship and to give MedImmune early access to the newest companies and discoveries, MedImmune Ventures leverages a broad base of internal resources with expertise ranging from R&D to marketing of biologics and small molecules, which closely guide its investment strategies. The fund has provided MedImmune with early exposure to new technologies and therapeutic approaches and the opportunity to establish relationships that have eventually led to R&D collaborations and acquisitions. Now as a part of AstraZeneca, the fund will seek to continue implementing its investment plan while broadening its investment interests and leveraging the parent company's internal resources as well as its relationships with academic institutions, other biotechnology companies and worldwide venture capital firms.

Parties interested in seeking funding should direct inquiries to

About MedImmune

MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians and rewarding careers to employees. With approximately 3,000 employees worldwide and headquarters in Maryland, MedImmune is dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live better lives and is wholly owned by AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN). For more information, visit MedImmune's website at

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, with respect to the operations, performance and financial condition of MedImmune, a member of the AstraZeneca Group. These forward-looking statements reflect management's current views and are based on current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties and may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those predicted. The risks and uncertainties associated with the business of the AstraZeneca Group are described in the reports and other documents filed by AstraZeneca plc with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to AstraZeneca and AstraZeneca undertakes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements included herein, except as otherwise may be required by applicable law or regulation.

SOURCE MedImmune
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