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The New England Journal of Medicine Publishes First Clinical Results for MedImmune's Chitinase-like Protein YKL-40 in Patients With Asthma
Date:11/14/2007

- Findings Suggest Protein May Play an Important Role in the Pathobiology of Severe Asthma, Identify Potential New Biomarker for Severity of Disease

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GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune, Inc. today announced the publication of the first clinical results studying chitinase-like protein, YKL-40, suggesting that the molecule may play an important role in determining the mechanisms of severe asthma. Data to be published in the November 15, 2007 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine suggest that circulating serum levels of YKL-40, also known as HcGP-39, are increased in patients with asthma, compared to those without disease, and correlate with asthma severity. Supplementing preclinical evidence demonstrating that chitinases play a critical role in asthma, these data suggest that YKL-40 may serve as a potential new biomarker for disease severity, prompting further clinical study.

"This study represents the collaborative efforts between MedImmune researchers and other leaders in the field of respiratory illness to explore novel biologic pathways to disease," said Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., vice president, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune disease research. "MedImmune is at the forefront of chitinase research, and these results add YKL-40 to the host of novel approaches we are exploring in clinical trials across multiple inflammatory diseases."

Recent pre-clinical data suggest that chitinases are effector models in asthmatic airway inflammation. As the first clinical experience in patients with asthma, this new study evaluated the serum levels of related chitinase- like protein YKL-40 and the potential correlation to disease severity. Data from this early-phase study suggest that serum YKL-40 levels were significantly elevated in patients with severe asthma and that this molecule may be a biomarker for asthma severity, compared to patients with milder disease or to those without asthm
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SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.
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