MedImmune, Inc. Licenses Reverse Genetics Technology to Sanofi Pasteur for Use in Influenza Vaccine Production

GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MedImmune, Inc. announced today that it has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property to sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce human seasonal, pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccines. Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza can be generated entirely from segments of DNA. For potential pandemic influenza vaccines, reverse genetics can be a useful technology because the process does not require manufacturers to work directly with potentially highly infectious pandemic strains, such as H5N1, rather only segments of the virus's genome.

MedImmune will receive an upfront payment and has the potential to receive royalties on certain vaccine stockpiles or sales of other influenza products developed using the reverse genetics technology.

"MedImmune is pleased to license our reverse genetics intellectual property to the vaccine development team at sanofi pasteur," said Edward T. Mathers, MedImmune's executive vice president, corporate development and venture. "This technology represents an important step forward for the manufacturing of all influenza vaccines due to its safety profile and reliability."

MedImmune has already begun applying its reverse genetics technology to its own pandemic research efforts, and is currently analyzing data from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Phase 1 study of an intranasal H5N1 influenza vaccine candidate based on MedImmune's live, attenuated vaccine technology, which utilizes reverse genetics technology. Investigators are assessing whether a live, attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine would be as effective against potential pandemic A strains as it has been shown to be against seasonal matched and mismatched A strains of influenza.

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 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

This announcement contains, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, in particular, related to the development of potential influenza vaccines using reverse genetics. 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. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that such vaccines will receive required regulatory clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance is received, such vaccines will ultimately achieve commercial success. There can be no assurance that even if such a vaccine is commercially available, that it will protect against a particular influenza strain or prevent a pandemic.

MedImmune, Inc.

CONTACT: Media: Karen Lancaster, +1-301-398-5864, Investors: BeatricePierre, +1-301-398-4905, both of MedImmune, Inc.

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