MedImmune gets license to develop asthma drug


medimmune MedImmune has licensed an potential asthma treatment from a subsidiary of a Japanese company.

The Gaithersburg company will pay BioWa, a New Jersey subsidiary of Japan's Kyowa Hakko Kogyo, upfront, milestone and royalty payments for the rights to market the drug in all countries other than Japan and a few other Asian nations. BioWa will keep those rights.

MedImmune did not disclose the size of the payments it will make.

The drug, a monoclonal antibody under development, is in the first phase of clinical trials for asthma. It also might be used for other inflammatory diseases, company officials say.

MedImmune has already been researching asthma treatments that target a separate molecule from the one that BioWa's technology targets, and they called the new collaboration "an excellent strategic fit."

MedImmune (NASDAQ: MEDI) closed this week on a deal to sell its first product, transplant drug CytoGam, to ZLB Behring, a Pennsylvania biotech for $50 million in upfront payments and up to $70 million in potential milestone payments.

Last week, a MedImmune shareholder asked the board of directors to sell the company to a large pharmaceutical corporation to provide it with more marketing power. The company responded by saying it would "continue to execute on its business plan."

source - BizJournals