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 www.medimmune.com.