Gaithersburg, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, July 19, 2000 -- MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEDI) announced today that it has granted SmithKline Beecham (NYSE:SBH) a worldwide, exclusive license to its Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine technology in exchange for an up-front payment and future milestones totaling more than $30 million, plus royalties on product sales. MedImmune's S. pneumoniae technology is nearing completion of preclinical evaluation.
“We are pleased to enter into this licensing agreement with SmithKline Beecham, one of the most successful vaccine companies,” commented Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer of MedImmune. “Our experience working with SmithKline Beecham has been very positive in the ongoing development program for our human papillomavirus vaccine, and we look forward to building a relationship for our Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine that is equally as productive.”
Jean Stéphenne, president of SB Biologicals, said: “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be working on this major project with MedImmune. We believe that the work they have completed to date on Streptococcus proteins will allow us to move ahead with confidence in the further development of our otitis media vaccine. Our goal is to prevent the considerable discomfort and associated complications suffered by children with otitis media and this new collaboration will be important in advancing our plans. We will also evaluate the proteins for use in the prevention of pneumonia.”
Under the terms of the agreement, SmithKline Beecham is responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing and sales and marketing activities for the S. pneumoniae vaccine. MedImmune is responsible for completing the technology transfer by the end of 2000.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis media (middle-ear infections) in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year, S. pneumoniae infections cause 2600 meningitis cases, 63,000 bacteremia cases, 100,000-135,000 hospitalizations for pneumonia and 7 million otitis media cases. Death occurs in 14 percent of adults hospitalized with invasive disease. Neurologic problems and learning disabilities can occur in meningitis patients, while hearing impairment can result from recurrent otitis media. Children under the age of 2 and adults over 65 years of age are at highest risk for pneumococcal infection. Also at risk are persons with underlying medical conditions, such as congestive heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, liver disease, sickle cell anemia and HIV.
SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, one of the world's leading vaccine manufacturers, is located in Rixensart, Belgium. Rixensart is the centre of all SB's activities in the field of vaccine research, development and production. SB Biologicals employs over 600 research scientists who are devoted to discovering new vaccines and developing more cost-effective and convenient combination products to prevent infections which cause serious medical problems worldwide. SB distributes over 770 million doses of vaccines per year for the developing and developed world. Every second, 25 doses of SB Bio vaccines are distributed to 160 countries around the world.
SmithKline Beecham -- one of the world's leading healthcare companies -- discovers, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines and health-related consumer products. For company information, visit SmithKline Beecham on the World Wide Web at http://www.sb.com.
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. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, MedImmune has manufacturing facilities in Frederick, Maryland and Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and an oncology subsidiary in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. For company information, visit MedImmune, Inc. at the World wide Web at http://www.medimmune.com.
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 the company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. MedImmune cautions that RSV disease occurs primarily during the winter months; the company believes its operating results will reflect that seasonality for the foreseeable future. The company is also 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 commercial success.