MedImmune to test respiratory treatment

MARYLAND WATCH

November 21, 1996

Gaithersburg-based MedImmune Inc. announced yesterday that a late-stage human trial has been launched to evaluate the effect of a treatment it has developed for the prevention of a serious respiratory disease in high-risk infants.

The disease, respiratory syncytial virus, is one of the leading causes of pneumonia and bronchitis in infants and small children. In the United States, more than 90,000 children are hospitalized and 4,500 die from RSV disease annually, the biotechnology company said.

The clinical trial is being conducted at more than 130 clinical centers in the United States, Canada and Britain. It is expected to include 1,200 premature infants and children, the company said. Trial results should be available late next year.

In laboratory experiments, the treatment, which the company calls MEDI-493, neutralized the RSV virus and reduced infections in animal studies, MedImmune said.

The treatment is administered by intramuscular injection. The company hopes it proves easier to use than RespiGam, an approved MedImmune product for RSV.

Pub Date: 11/21/96

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