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MedImmune licenses reverse genetics technology to Novartis

MedImmune licenses its reverse genetics intellectual property to Novartis to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains

MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property to Novartis to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce inactivated human seasonal, pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccines.

Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza can be generated from segments of DNA. It is a useful technology for prospective pandemic influenza vaccines, as the process does not require manufacturers to work directly with potentially highly infectious pandemic strains, such as H5N1, but rather segments of the virus's genome.

As the owner and exclusive licensee of the key patent estates for use of the reverse genetics technology in human influenza vaccines, MedImmune says it is committed to ensuring the technology is accessible to varied government institutions and industry manufacturers. The company is therefore offering other influenza vaccine manufacturers non-exclusive licenses to this intellectual property estate for use in the manufacturing of seasonal or pandemic vaccines.

This deal marks the third reverse genetics licensing agreement that MedImmune has entered into with leaders in influenza vaccine development and manufacturing.

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

30th August 2007

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