Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 08, 2005

Maryland: Medicine

MedImmune holds avian-flu technology

A technology that's looking increasingly promising in the fight against a human avian flu is now officially owned by MedImmune Inc. of Gaithersburg, which said yesterday that it had licensed the last of four key intellectual properties governing so-called "reverse genetics." That means anyone other than the company hoping to develop a flu vaccine using the technology will have to pay MedImmune for the rights to it. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says the technology, being studied by various scientists, could be quicker and more efficient in vaccine production than current methods. MedImmune acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the technology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and its own reverse-genetics portfolio.

Tricia Bishop

Biotechnology

Patent application OK'd for EntreMed

The Patent and Trademark Office has notified EntreMed Inc. of Rockville that its patent application concerning a certain pharmaceutical compound has been allowed, meaning it will be considered for potential patent protections. The company is running clinical tests with two versions of a cancer drug made from the compound. A third variety is being testing as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

Tricia Bishop

Acquisitions

HealthExtras buys EBRx

HealthExtras Inc., a Rockville-based pharmacy benefit manager, announced yesterday that it had bought EBRx Inc. of Pittsburgh for $31 million. Companies such as HealthExtras contract with health insurers, employers and governments to manage pharmacy benefits. HealthExtras focuses on marketing to third-party administrators, who run health plans for self-insured employers.

M. William Salganik

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