GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MedImmune, Inc.
(Nasdaq: MEDI) announced today that it intends to develop a monoclonal
antibody (MAb) targeting pathways within the CD28 receptor family for
treatment of certain inflammatory diseases under a recently signed license
agreement with Japan Tobacco, Inc. (JT). MedImmune's initial efforts will
focus on developing the current lead antibody, which aims to inhibit a
receptor believed to play a key role in controlling adaptive immune responses,
called inducible-costimulator (ICOS), and thereby regulate T-cell dependent
activation of B cells. Inappropriate activation of T cells resulting in B-cell
activation is implicated in a variety of autoimmune disorders.
"The addition of this novel target to MedImmune's inflammatory disease
pipeline underscores our commitment to developing innovative therapies for the
treatment of unmet medical needs, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or
lupus), Sjogrens syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis," said Anthony J. Coyle,
Ph.D., MedImmune senior director, research, and head, inflammation biology.
"As we work to develop the anti-ICOS MAb as a potential treatment for such
immune system disorders, we also hope to continue to collect scientific
knowledge related to the role of signaling pathways in regulating immune
Under the terms of the agreement, JT will receive an undisclosed upfront
payment, milestone payments and royalties on any future marketed products. JT
retains exclusive development and marketing rights for the current lead
antibody in Japan. MedImmune has exclusive development and marketing rights to
this antibody for the rest of world and certain rights worldwide for other
antibodies developed as a result of the agreement.
About Anti-ICOS MAbs
Preclinical study results indicate that ICOS is only expressed on a subset
of T cells and is essential for T-cell dependent B-cell activation. In
addition, ICOS is required for IL-17 secretion from activated T cells. IL-17
is a T-cell derived cytokine that is implicated in the development of various
inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. In preclinical studies,
ICOS-inhibition with MAbs was shown to be effective in models of rheumatoid
arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
About Japan Tobacco
Japan Tobacco Inc. is the world's third largest international manufacturer
of tobacco products. Since its privatization in 1985, JT has actively
diversified its operations into pharmaceuticals and foods. JT entered into the
pharmaceutical business in 1987 and established the Central Pharmaceutical
Research Institute in 1993. JT is currently engaged in the research and
development of new drugs in various areas such as glucose and lipid
metabolism, anti-virus, immune disorders and inflammation, and bone
metabolism. The company's net sales were 4.637 trillion yen in the fiscal year
that ended March 31, 2006.
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 infectious diseases,
cancer and inflammatory diseases. With more than 2,500 employees worldwide,
MedImmune is headquartered in Maryland. For more information, visit the
company's website at http://www.medimmune.com.
This announcement contains, in addition to historical information, certain
"forward-looking statements" regarding the development of inflammatory disease
product candidates by MedImmune, Inc. Such forward-looking statements are
based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties,
including factors that could delay, divert or change current expectations and
could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current
expectations. In addition, MedImmune can provide no assurance that these
products will be commercially successful. In addition to risks and
uncertainties disclosed in MedImmune's filings with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, no assurance exists that development efforts for these
products will succeed, that these products will receive required regulatory
approval or that, even if regulatory approval is received, they will be
commercially successful. MedImmune undertakes no obligation to update any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise except as may be required by applicable law or regulation.
both of MedImmune, Inc.