Second Agreement Signed in Third Quarter of 2008 Expands Worldwide
Application of Cutting-Edge Influenza Vaccine Technology
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune announced today that it has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property to Omninvest, a Hungarian research and manufacturing company, to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce non-live human influenza vaccines. Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza can be generated from segments of DNA. For potential pandemic influenza vaccines, reverse genetics can be a useful technology because the process does not require manufacturers to work directly with potentially highly infectious pandemic strains, such as H5N1, rather only with segments of the virus's genome. This announcement marks the second agreement of this kind that MedImmune signed in the third quarter of 2008.
"Omninvest has demonstrated decades of commitment to providing protection against influenza, and we commend their commitment to donate some of their product to the World Health Organization (WHO) stockpile for distribution among developing nations," said MedImmune's Jonathan Klein-Evans, vice president, intellectual property. "MedImmune is pleased to license our reverse genetics technology to Omninvest as we have done previously to five other influenza vaccine manufacturers."
MedImmune will receive an upfront payment and has the potential to receive royalties on certain vaccine stockpiles or sales of other influenza products developed using the reverse genetics technology.
Most influenza vaccine manufacturing companies and governmental agencies are now using reverse genetics technology in their development of pandemic vaccine candidates because it allows them to avoid working directly with the infectious, circulating pandemic strains. As the owner or exclusive licensee of key patent estates for use of the reverse genetics technology in human influenza vaccines, MedImmune has offered other influenza vaccine manufacturers non-exclusive licenses to these intellectual property estates for use in manufacturing seasonal or pandemic vaccines.
In a first for any influenza vaccine manufacturer, MedImmune applied the reverse genetics process to the development of its seasonal live, attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine for the 2008-2009 season.
Since December of 2006, MedImmune has licensed its reverse genetics technology to CSL Limited of Australia, sanofi pasteur, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and BIKEN of Japan.
MedImmune is a leading innovation-focused biotechnology company whose mission is to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians and rewarding careers to employees. Dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live better lives, the company is focused on infection, oncology, respiratory disease and inflammation, cardiovascular/ gastrointestinal disease and neuroscience. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, MedImmune has approximately 3,000 employees worldwide and is the wholly owned biologics business for AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN). For more information, visit MedImmune's website at http://www.medimmune.com.
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