Applied Molecular Evolution Creates New Monoclonal Antibodies To Prevent Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) For MedImmune
Lead Candidate Targeted to Become Numax™, MedImmune's Third Generation Product to Prevent RSV; Improved Potency of Newly Evolved Antibodies Opens Doors to New Markets
San Diego, CA, June 16 - Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc. (AME) today announced that is has successfully used its AMEsystem™ Directed Evolution technology to create several new anti-RSV monoclonal antibody candidates for MedImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: MEDI). One of these candidates will be used to develop Numax™, MedImmune's third-generation product intended to prevent RSV infection in high-risk populations.
"The new antibodies we created with AME were evolved from Synagis™, our second-generation, intravenously administered, anti-RSV product," said James F. Young, MedImmune's executive vice president of research and development. "These new molecules have been shown to be at least ten times more potent than Synagis™. If such advantages can be replicated in human studies, we could potentially develop Numax™ for new markets, reduce production costs, and pursue various delivery forms to broaden the product's use."
In February 1999, AME and MedImmune entered into a four-molecule agreement whereby AME would apply its proprietary technology to create several next generation products for MedImmune. To date, AME has developed a second generation of Vitaxin™, MedImmune's anti-angiogenesis product, in addition to Numax™.
"Numax™ is the most recent validation of our AMEsystem™ Directed Evolution technology platform," said William Huse, MD, PhD, AME's president and chief executive officer. "By applying our AMEsystem™, we believe we can dramatically improve various molecules, including certain currently marketed, FDA-approved drugs, by increasing potency, reducing manufacturing costs, and extending patent protection."
MedImmune, inc. is a fully integrated biotechnology company focused on developing and marketing products that address medical needs in areas such as infectious disease, immune regulation and cancer. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, MedImmune has manufacturing facilities in Frederick, Maryland and Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and an oncology subsidiary in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc. (AME) is a leader in the emerging field of Directed Evolution, a process for optimizing genes and proteins for specific commercial purposes. Since its inception, AME's principal focus has been on applying its technology to develop improved versions of currently marketed, FDA-approved drugs as well as novel human therapeutics. AME is a private biotechnology company headquartered in San Diego, CA.
Lawrence E. Bloch, M.D.