GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec 21, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- On December 18,
2001, Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) announced that it had been granted a patent
relating to certain methods and compositions used to produce antibodies by
recombinant DNA technology. This patent had been filed by Genentech with a
priority date of 1983. Today, a number of biotechnology companies, including
MedImmune (Nasdaq: MEDI), utilize methods of recombinant DNA technology in the
production of their antibody-based products. In anticipation of any potential
impact the issuance of this patent could have, four years ago, MedImmune
obtained a license to Genentech's antibody production patent for MedImmune's
antibody-based product Synagis(R) (palivizumab).
MedImmune is in the process of evaluating whether any valid claim of Genentech's
patent, as recently issued, covers production of Synagis. If so, MedImmune would
pay royalties to Genentech on U.S. net sales of Synagis commencing December 18,
2001. MedImmune anticipates that incremental Synagis royalties to Genentech, if
any, would not change its prior financial guidance issued on December 3, 2001.
MedImmune is also evaluating whether any of its other antibody-based product
candidates, if and when approved for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, could require a license under the Genentech patent. There can be
no assurance that if such a license were required and available, it would be
available on terms acceptable to MedImmune.
Synagis(R) (palivizumab) is marketed for the prevention of serious lower
respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus in pediatric
patients at high risk of RSV disease, which is prominent in the Northern
Hemisphere from October through May (see full prescribing information at
MedImmune, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on developing and marketing
products that address medical needs in areas such as infectious disease, immune
regulation and cancer. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, MedImmune has
manufacturing facilities in Frederick, Maryland and Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information, certain
forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements
reflect management's current views and are based on certain assumptions. Actual
results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of
a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties discussed in MedImmune's
and Aviron's filings with the SEC. MedImmune and Aviron have confirmed that the
granting of the Genentech patent does not affect the merger agreement that they
entered into on December 2, 2001. MedImmune and Aviron are developing 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 commercial success. There can be no assurance
that MedImmune's exchange offer for Aviron shares or the merger will close or
that Aviron will be integrated successfully or without unanticipated costs.
We urge Aviron stockholders and other investors to read the registration
statement on Form S-4, Schedule TO, preliminary prospectus, supplements, final
prospectus and other exchange offer documents which have been filed or will be
filed by MedImmune with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the related
solicitation/recommendation statement filed by Aviron with the SEC. These
documents contain important information which should be read carefully before
any decision is made with respect to the offer. Documents filed with the SEC are
available for free at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov . Documents are
also available for free from MacKenzie Partners, Inc., 800-322-2885.
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SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.