Novel Treatment May Provide Therapeutic Option for Asthma Sufferers
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MedImmune, Inc.
(Nasdaq: MEDI) announced today that it has begun dosing patients in a Phase 1
clinical trial with an anti-interleukin-9 (IL-9) monoclonal antibody (MAb).
Data from preclinical studies in models of asthma suggest that IL-9
neutralizing MAbs may help reduce airway hyper-reactivity, mucous production
and inflammation. The company is evaluating this molecule as a potential new
treatment for symptomatic, moderate-to-severe persistent asthma.
"With the initiation of this trial, MedImmune adds asthma to its portfolio
of targets for treating and preventing respiratory diseases in adults and
children," said Dr. Edward M. Connor, MedImmune's senior vice president,
clinical development and chief medical officer. "We are working toward
reducing the impact of respiratory illnesses with antibody therapies, such as
our flagship product Synagis(R) (pavilizumab) -- which is approved for
prevention of serious respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease in high-risk
infants -- and with vaccines like FluMist(R) (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live,
MedImmune's Phase 1 anti-IL-9 antibody trial is an open-label dose-
escalation study in 24 healthy adult volunteers designed to evaluate safety
and tolerability and to gather pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity data.
Volunteers will receive 0.3 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), 1.0 mg/kg, 3.0
mg/kg or 9.0 mg/kg of the antibody.
Interleukins are hormone-like proteins produced by immune cells that
regulate the intensity and duration of immune and allergic responses. One of
at least 29 naturally occurring interleukins in the human body, IL-9 has a
wide spectrum of biologic activities associated with the symptoms of asthma
including airway hyper-reactivity, mucous production, lung infiltration of
inflammatory cells and IgE (an immune globulin associated with allergic
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
more than 20 million Americans reported having asthma in 2001, including more
than six million children. In 2000, the CDC reported that there were more
than 10 million asthma-related outpatient visits to private physician offices
and hospital clinics (nearly 5 million of these involved children under 18).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have estimated asthma-related
healthcare costs in the U.S. at $14 billion annually.
About MedImmune, Inc.
MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical
options for physicians, rewarding careers to employees, and increased value to
shareholders. Dedicated to advancing science and medicine to help people live
better lives, the company is focused on the areas of pediatric infectious
diseases, cancer and inflammatory diseases. With approximately 1,800
employees worldwide, MedImmune is headquartered in Maryland. For more
information, visit the company's website 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 MedImmune's filings with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. The company 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 is received, such products will
ultimately achieve commercial success.
SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.
/CONTACT: Media: Jamie Lacey, +1-301-398-4035; Investors: Peter Vozzo,
+1-301-398-4358, or John Filler, +1-301-398-4086, all of MedImmune, Inc./
/Web site: http://www.medimmune.com/
CO: MedImmune, Inc.
IN: BIO HEA MTC
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