MedImmune Licenses Reverse Genetics Technology to GlaxoSmithKline for Use in Influenza Vaccine Development and Production
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 24 -- MedImmune, Inc. announced today that it has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property to GlaxoSmithKline to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce non-live human influenza vaccines. Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza can be generated 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 with segments of the virus's genome.
"MedImmune is pleased to enter into a fourth agreement to license our reverse genetics technology to manufacturers," said Jonathan Klein-Evans, J.D., MedImmune's vice president, intellectual property. "Making this important technology available to the vaccine development team at GlaxoSmithKline and their peers at other companies may have a significant positive impact on the manufacturing of influenza vaccines due to the efficiency and reliability of the process."
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.
Most influenza vaccine manufacturing companies and governmental agencies are now using reverse genetics technology in their development of pandemic vaccine candidates because it allows them to avoid working directly with the infectious, circulating pandemic strains. As the owner or exclusive licensee of key patent estates for use of the reverse genetics technology in human influenza vaccines, MedImmune remains committed to making sure that the technology is accessible to government institutions and industry manufacturers. As such, the company has offered other influenza vaccine manufacturers non-exclusive licenses to this intellectual property estate for use in manufacturing seasonal or pandemic vaccines.
Since December of 2006, MedImmune has licensed its reverse genetics technology to CSL Limited of Australia, sanofi pasteur and Novartis.
MedImmune strives to provide better medicines to patients, new medical options for physicians and rewarding careers to employees. 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 approximately 3,000 employees worldwide and headquarters in Maryland, MedImmune is wholly owned by AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN.L) (NYSE: AZN). For more information, visit MedImmune's website at http://www.medimmune.com.