GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 23 MedImmune, Inc. announced todaythat it has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property toNovartis to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains toproduce inactivated human seasonal, pre-pandemic and pandemic influenzavaccines. Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza canbe generated from segments of DNA. For prospective pandemic influenzavaccines, reverse genetics can be a useful technology because the process doesnot require manufacturers to work directly with potentially highly infectiouspandemic strains, such as H5N1, rather only segments of the virus's genome.
Most influenza vaccine manufacturing companies and governmental agenciesare now using reverse genetics technology in their development of pandemicvaccine candidates because it allows them to avoid working directly with theinfectious, circulating pandemic strains. As the owner or exclusive licenseeof the key patent estates for use of the reverse genetics technology in humaninfluenza vaccines, MedImmune remains committed to making sure that thetechnology is accessible to government institutions and industrymanufacturers. As such, the company has offered other influenza vaccinemanufacturers non-exclusive licenses to this intellectual property estate foruse in manufacturing seasonal or pandemic vaccines.
"MedImmune is pleased to have now entered into reverse genetics licensingagreements with three leaders in influenza vaccine development andmanufacturing," said Jonathan Klein-Evans, J.D., MedImmune's vice president,intellectual property. "With each new license that expands access to thisimportant technology, the world is advancing its pandemic preparedness as weapply new tools such as reverse genetics to improve and streamline theinfluenza vaccine development process."
MedImmune will receive an upfront payment and has the potential to receiveroyalties on certain vaccine stockpiles or sales of other influenza productsdeveloped using the reverse genetics technology.
MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medicaloptions for physicians and rewarding careers to employees. Dedicated toadvancing science and medicine to help people live better lives, the companyis focused on the areas of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammatorydiseases. With approximately 3,000 employees worldwide and headquarters inMaryland, MedImmune is wholly owned by AstraZeneca plc(LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN). For more information, visit MedImmune's website atwww.medimmune.com.
SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.