GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 25 -- MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEDI)
today announced that it has licensed worldwide rights to EphA2 technology from
Purdue Research Foundation.
MedImmune will be responsible for developing,
manufacturing and commercializing therapeutics that target EphA2.
products will potentially be used to treat a variety of aggressive tumors,
including breast, colon, prostate, lung and skin cancers, as well as to
As a part of the agreement, Purdue will receive certain
upfront payments and future milestones and royalties.
``We are very excited to add such a promising oncology program to our
research pipeline,'' said Peter Kiener, D.Phil., MedImmune's vice president,
``Data published recently in Cancer Research indicate that
antibodies designed to interact with EphA2 could be used to both regulate
tumor cell growth and prevent metastasis, whilst sparing normal cells.''
EphA2 is a tumor-causing protein when over expressed.
indicate that it is the over expression of EphA2 that subverts normal
regulation of cell growth, which then leads to tumor cell growth and
Further, these studies show that the introduction of an antibody
targeting EphA2 may allow the restoration of this cell growth regulation or
induce cell killing.
David Mott, MedImmune's chief executive officer commented: ``We are
continuing to build our oncology business and believe EphA2 fits nicely with
our strengths in antibody development and manufacturing, as well as having the
longer term potential to leverage our recently expanded oncology sales
In addition to the EphA2 research program, MedImmune is in
clinical trials with an anti-angiogenic antibody, Vitaxin(TM), and with a
vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
MedImmune sells its first cancer product,
Ethyol® (amifostine), through its own 60-person oncology sales force.''
Vitaxin is an antibody that has the potential to inhibit the growth of new
blood vessels (angiogenesis) by binding to a specific integrin
(alpha-v-beta-3) expressed on a variety of cells that play a critical role in
inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and restenosis, as well as
Earlier this year, MedImmune initiated two studies with Vitaxin in
In March, the company began a Phase I pharmacokinetic study
with Vitaxin in patients with refractory solid tumors.
In July, the company
began a Phase I/II study in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
MedImmune licensed Vitaxin from Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc. (AME) in
During 2000, the two companies worked together to prepare a
more potent version of the original Vitaxin molecule using AME's proprietary
In 1995, MedImmune began developing a virus-like particle based vaccine to
prevent disease caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV has been shown to
cause cervical cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among women
MedImmune's multi-valent vaccine targets the HPV types believed to
cause a majority of cervical cancers.
The vaccine, now in Phase II clinical
development, is being co-developed with SB Biologicals, a division of
Ethyol is a unique product that has the potential to address substantial
markets in oncology.
It is used to reduce unwanted toxicities caused by
certain anti-cancer treatments.
Currently, Ethyol is approved as a
chemoprotective agent to reduce the cumulative kidney toxicities associated
with repeated administration of cisplatin in patients with advanced ovarian
cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
It has also been approved for use in
head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
In this patient
population, Ethyol has been demonstrated to limit the degree of xerostomia
(dry mouth), an often severe and irreversible side effect of radiation therapy
caused by damage to the salivary glands.
MedImmune has also dedicated
additional research and clinical resources to evaluate new opportunities for
the product, including subcutaneous administration and the reduction of
mucositis in lung cancer patients.
MedImmune, Inc. is a fully integrated biotechnology company focused on
developing and marketing products that address medical needs in areas such as
infectious disease, immune regulation and cancer.
Gaithersburg, Maryland, MedImmune has manufacturing facilities in Frederick,
Maryland and Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
For more information on MedImmune,
visit the company's website at http://www.medimmune.com .
The information contained in this document is as of
October 25, 2001, and will not be updated as a result of new information or
This document contains forward-looking statements regarding
MedImmune's future financial performance and/or business prospects.
statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties.
You can identify
those statements by the fact that they contain words such as ``anticipate,''
``believe,'' ``estimate,'' ``expect,'' ``intend,'' ``project'' or other terms of similar
Those statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based
on numerous assumptions which MedImmune cannot control and which may not
develop as MedImmune expects.
Consequently, actual results may differ
materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are:
demand for and continued supply of our principal product, Synagis®
(palivizumab); availability of competitive products in the market;
availability of third-party reimbursement for the cost of our products;
effectiveness and safety of our products; exposure to product liability and
other types of lawsuits; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; changes
in generally accepted accounting principles; growth in costs and expenses; the
impact of acquisitions, divestitures and other unusual items; and the risks,
uncertainties and other matters discussed in MedImmune's Annual Report on Form
10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and in its periodic reports on Forms
10-Q and 8-K (if any) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
MedImmune is developing several products for potential future marketing.
There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that
such products will receive required regulatory clearance or that, even if such
regulatory clearance were received, such products would ultimately achieve