MedImmune in-licenses acute coronary syndrome biologic research program from Shionogi

Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Osaka, Japan - October 8, 2014 -- MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Japanese drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co., Ltd., announced today that they have entered a global license agreement under which MedImmune will in-license Shionogi’s novel preclinical biologic program for the potential treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will acquire exclusive rights to Shionogi’s cardiovascular biologic program and will be responsible for all future research, development, and manufacturing.  The licensed program acts on a biological mechanism that plays a physiological role in the metabolism of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL is responsible for the transport of cholesterol out of blood vessels and plaques, and raising HDL levels has the potential to decrease the persistent residual risk in cardiovascular disease. AstraZeneca will be responsible for any future commercialization, while Shionogi retains an option to co-market in Japan. 

“Cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) is a core therapeutic area for MedImmune, and Shionogi’s biologic program will be a valuable and strategic complement to our existing cardiovascular program,” said Cristina Rondinone, Vice President and Head, MedImmune CVMD Innovative Medicines Unit. “We are committed to sourcing the best scientific research across the globe. We were pleased to identify this early stage program and will work to advance its research and development as quickly as possible to hopefully bring an important new medicine to ACS patients.”

In addition to the new licensed program, MedImmune is also currently progressing a recombinant human LCAT, MEDI6012, in Phase I clinical trials for ACS. LCAT plays an important role in reverse cholesterol transport and, as a result, increases HDL levels.

Currently, Shionogi and AstraZeneca co-market CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) in Japan. AstraZeneca originally in-licensed CRESTOR® from Shionogi in 1998.

“Shionogi and AstraZeneca have been working together to bring CRESTOR® to patients for nearly two decades.  Such a positive relationship created the foundation for this agreement with MedImmune,” said Kohji Hanasaki, Ph.D., Corporate Officer, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research Division. “Shionogi is now pursuing research and development in the therapeutic areas to which we should devote resources in the new medium-term business plan. We think that this biologic program gets the best chance of success by joining our promising research with MedImmune’s proven capabilities for advancing biologic research as well as AstraZeneca’s commercial capabilities in marketing cardiovascular therapies.” 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)
ACS is an umbrella term for conditions that result from insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. It is often caused by a barrier of plaque buildup in coronary arteries. Various conditions range from unstable angina (UA), non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), or ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

About Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Shionogi & Co., Ltd. is a major research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to placing the highest value on patients based on its corporate philosophy of “supply the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve,” Shionogi’s research and development currently targets two therapeutic areas: infectious diseases, and pain/CNS disorders. In addition, Shionogi is engaged in new research areas such as obesity/geriatric metabolic disease and oncology/immunology. Contributing to the health and QOL of patients around the world through development in these therapeutic areas is Shionogi’s primary goal. For more details, please visit

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
(301) 398-1468

Susannah Budington, MedImmune
(301) 398-6717

Corporate Communications, Shionogi
Osaka: +81-6-6209-7885
Tokyo: +81-3-3406-8164