3Q loss narrows at maker of FluMist

MedImmune awaits data on new version


MedImmune Inc. said it expects to receive information within the next few weeks that will help the Gaithersburg drugmaker determine whether to continue its nasal flu-vaccine program.

During a conference call yesterday morning to discuss the company's third-quarter loss, MedImmune Chief Executive Officer David M. Mott said he expects to receive data from a clinical trial of CAIV-T, a second-generation of its FluMist nasal influenza vaccine.

If the vaccine is not shown superior to the traditional flu shot or the Food and Drug Administration declines to approve its use in very small children, MedImmune might look to unload the product.

"If it merely ended up being a nose-spray flu vaccine with no other differentiation than that, frankly [it would be] less strategically interesting in our portfolio," Mott said. "If that were the outcome, we would consider out-licensing it or selling it."

If CAIV-T is approved as hoped, MedImmune expects to bring it to market in the fall of 2007. Numax, a second-generation of its flagship Synagis treatment, is expected to follow in 2008.

MedImmune reported a slight reduction in its loss for the quarter ending Sept. 30 as sales increased 66 percent.

The company recorded revenue of $154 million, up from $93 million in the third quarter last year. The rise was led by increased sales of Synagis, an infant respiratory treatment, to $101 million from $61 million in the quarter last year.

Research and development costs offset the revenue gain, however, leading to an overall loss of $64.1 million, down 1.4 percent, from the $65 million loss reported in the third quarter of 2004.

In a separate announcement yesterday, MedImmune said it had entered a licensing agreement with Avidia Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., to develop anti-cancer drugs.

Shares of the company rose 40 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $33.75 in Nasdaq trading that was double the normal volume.


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