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MedImmune, LLC, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, became a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca in 2007. Since being acquired, MedImmune has remained a Maryland-based biotechnology development enterprise. It produces Synagis, a drug for the prevention of respiratory infections in infants, which accounted for US$ 1.06 billion of its US$ 1.2 billion in revenue for 2005, and FluMist, a nasal spray influenza vaccine introduced in 2004. MedImmune acquired FluMist when it purchased Aviron in 2002 for US$ 1.5 billion. FluMist sales totaled US$ 104 million in 2008, US$ 54.8 million in 2007, and US$ 36.4 million in 2006.
FluMist was approved for children two years of age and older in 2007, but initially was approved only for healthy people ages 5 to 49, a significant limitation because it eliminated a significant market—the millions of young children who find injections objectionable. Sales of FluMist fell short of analysts' expectations for the first two years the drug was sold. FluMist was initially sold in a frozen form, which was difficult for doctors to store.
MedImmune conducted successful clinical trials for a new generation of FluMist needle-free vaccine, called CAIV-T, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007, and is now the form offered on the market.
Molecular Vaccines, Inc. was founded by Wayne T. Hockmeyer in 1988. In 1989 MedImmune is incorporated under the name Molecular Vaccines, Inc and the name is changed to MedImmune, Inc.
On April 23, 2007, it was announced MedImmune and AstraZeneca entered into a definitive agreement under which AstraZeneca intended to acquire MedImmune in an all cash transaction at US$ 58 per share, or about US$ 15.2 billion. On 19 June 2007 AstraZeneca completed the acquisition paying US$ 15.2 billion primarily for its drug development pipeline. Analysts have criticised the take-over, claiming that AstraZeneca paid too much. AstraZeneca chose to merge MedImmune with Cambridge Antibody Technology, which it had acquired in 2006, creating a new biologics division under the MedImmune name. AstraZeneca presented the new MedImmune to investors on 7 December 2007.
In June 2007, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began enrolling participants in a Phase 1 H5N1 study of an intranasal influenza vaccine candidate based on MedImmune's live, attenuated vaccine technology.
MedImmune said it was making a significant, rapid response with a vaccine to the novel H1N1 variant of influenza, known as swine flu. In June 2009 it won a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contract, worth $90m. Under the contract with HHS, MedImmune will continue to make its seasonal FluMist vaccine and also develop a vaccine targeted specifically at the novel H1N1 virus. MedImmune then won a second contract to test its nasal spray flu technology as a viable treatment for the H1N1.
MedImmune received approval from the U.S. FDA for its intranasal novel H1N1 influenza virus in September 2009.
2012–2013 Flu Season
In December 2012, MedImmune announced that it was shipping 13,000,000 doses of FluMist to distributors in time for the flu season. According to MedImmune, the company distributed FluMist to healthcare centers, public health departments, military bases, and retail pharmacies.
Target Age Groups
A MedImmune senior executive told journalists that MedImmune wanted to focus immunization on eligible preschool-age and school-age children, adolescents, and adults up to age 49. The FDA approved the use of FluMist for people between age 2 and 49.
According to Vaccine News Daily, FluMist is covered by nearly 99 percent of private health plans that include immunizations. The vaccine will also be available for children in every state through the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program that administers vaccines to eligible children at no cost.
Sources and notes
- Michael S. Rosenwald (June 2, 2009). "MedImmune Wins Key Contract To Develop Swine Flu Vaccine". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
- AstraZeneca's big, risky $15 billion bet
- MedImmune Press release MedImmune and National Institutes of Health Begin Clinical Testing of a Live, Attenuated Intranasal Vaccine Against an H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus published June 15, 2007
- "MedImmune Influenza A (H1N1) Information". Retrieved October 23, 2009.
- Sinha, Vandana (13 July 2009). "MedImmune gets second H1N1 flu contract".
- Ted Purlain, "MedImmune Begins FluMist Distribution ", Vaccine News Daily, 7 Dec 2012