MedImmune and Genaera Enter Agreement to Develop Products Targeting Respiratory Disease

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from MedImmune, Inc.

    GAITHERSBURG, Md., and PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., April 19 /PRNewswire/ --
 MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MEDI) and Genaera Corporation (Nasdaq:   GENR), today
 announced that they have entered into a research collaboration and a worldwide
 exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize antibodies or
 recombinant molecules against IL-9 to prevent symptoms of asthma and other
 respiratory diseases.  As part of the research agreement, the companies will
 collaborate on the creation of specific assays and respiratory disease models
 for use in assessing product candidates developed by MedImmune.  MedImmune
 will be responsible for development, manufacturing, clinical testing, and
 marketing of any resulting product.
     "We have been interested in Genaera's IL-9 program for quite some time,"
 said James F. Young, Ph.D., MedImmune's president, research and development.
 "It is just the sort of novel program that fits strategically well with our
 strengths in antibody development and manufacturing, as well as our expertise
 in developing products targeting respiratory illness.  We are very excited to
 add yet another large market opportunity to our research pipeline."
     IL-9 is implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma and may contribute to
 other respiratory disorders including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
 (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.  Biopsies from asthmatic patients have shown an
 increase in expression of IL-9 as compared to healthy individuals.  Published
 findings, highlighting the central role of IL-9 in asthma, demonstrate its
 contribution to certain clinical features including bronchial hyper-
 responsiveness, mucin production and eosinophil up-regulation in animal models
 and in patients. The companies believe that either the systemic or topical
 delivery of an anti-IL-9 product to the lung will block the interaction of IL-
 9 with its receptor.  In turn, the response in the lung that mediates these
 clinical features may be reduced or eliminated, providing a novel approach to
 prophylaxis or treatment for asthma.
     Under the agreement, MedImmune will fund over the first two years of the
 plan at least $2.5 million for certain research and development activities at
 Genaera. Genaera could receive up to $55 million in milestone payments, plus
 royalties on any product resulting from the agreement. MedImmune will also
 purchase at the closing of a related stock purchase agreement $10 million in
 Genaera convertible preferred stock.
     "MedImmune is one of the premier biotechnology companies, and brings to
 the table significant experience in developing and marketing products in the
 field of respiratory disease.  We are extremely pleased to have them as our
 partner for the IL-9 program," commented Roy C. Levitt, M.D., president and
 chief executive officer of Genaera. "This agreement demonstrates our
 commitment to the development of new medicines, based on our genetic and
 biologic studies demonstrating the importance of IL-9 as the root cause of
 asthma. This alliance will provide the strengths and expertise necessary to
 successfully develop products targeting IL-9 that may one day improve the
 lives of people suffering from asthma and other respiratory diseases."
     According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease
 (NIAID) and the American Lung Association, there are over 65 million patients
 suffering from diseases that may be IL-9 mediated, including 17 million
 asthmatics, 35 million respiratory allergy sufferers, 13 million sufferers of
 chronic bronchitis, and 2.4 million patients afflicted with COPD, a disease
 which claims the lives of over 107,000 Americans annually.  Currently, there
 is no cure for many respiratory distress diseases, including asthma.  Many of
 these diseases currently are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs,
 antibiotics, oral beta antagonists, or bronchodilators for acute use.
      The collaboration and license agreement and related stock purchase
 agreement are expected to close later this month, subject to customary closing
 conditions.
 
     MedImmune, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on developing and
 marketing products that address medical needs in areas such as infectious
 disease, immune regulation and cancer.  Headquartered in Gaithersburg,
 Maryland, MedImmune has manufacturing facilities in Frederick, Maryland and
 Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
 
     Genaera Corporation, formerly Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a
 biopharmaceutical company committed to developing medicines for serious
 diseases from genomics and natural products.  Research and development efforts
 are focused on anti-angiogenesis, obesity, infectious diseases and respiratory
 diseases.  Genaera maintains its headquarters and laboratory facilities in
 Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.
 
     This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information,
 certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.  Such
 statements reflect the current views of MedImmune and Genaera, are based on
 certain assumptions and include, but are not limited to, the ability to treat
 respiratory diseases with antibodies or proteins targeting the IL-9 molecule,
 the effect of an anti-IL-9 product on IL-9 and the response in the lung, the
 ability to successfully develop products targeting IL-9 and the ability to
 close the agreement and stock purchase agreement, Actual results could differ
 materially from those currently anticipated and expressed in these and other
 forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including risks
 and uncertainties discussed in this release and in each of MedImmune and
 Genaera's  filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. There can
 be no assurance that such development efforts with respect to anti-IL-9
 products will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory
 clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such
 products would ultimately achieve commercial success. Each of MedImmune and
 Genaera disclaim any intent or obligation to update, revise or correct these
 forward-looking statements.
 
 

SOURCE MedImmune, Inc.
    GAITHERSBURG, Md., and PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., April 19 /PRNewswire/ --
 MedImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MEDI) and Genaera Corporation (Nasdaq:   GENR), today
 announced that they have entered into a research collaboration and a worldwide
 exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize antibodies or
 recombinant molecules against IL-9 to prevent symptoms of asthma and other
 respiratory diseases.  As part of the research agreement, the companies will
 collaborate on the creation of specific assays and respiratory disease models
 for use in assessing product candidates developed by MedImmune.  MedImmune
 will be responsible for development, manufacturing, clinical testing, and
 marketing of any resulting product.
     "We have been interested in Genaera's IL-9 program for quite some time,"
 said James F. Young, Ph.D., MedImmune's president, research and development.
 "It is just the sort of novel program that fits strategically well with our
 strengths in antibody development and manufacturing, as well as our expertise
 in developing products targeting respiratory illness.  We are very excited to
 add yet another large market opportunity to our research pipeline."
     IL-9 is implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma and may contribute to
 other respiratory disorders including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
 (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.  Biopsies from asthmatic patients have shown an
 increase in expression of IL-9 as compared to healthy individuals.  Published
 findings, highlighting the central role of IL-9 in asthma, demonstrate its
 contribution to certain clinical features including bronchial hyper-
 responsiveness, mucin production and eosinophil up-regulation in animal models
 and in patients. The companies believe that either the systemic or topical
 delivery of an anti-IL-9 product to the lung will block the interaction of IL-
 9 with its receptor.  In turn, the response in the lung that mediates these
 clinical features may be reduced or eliminated, providing a novel approach to
 prophylaxis or treatment for asthma.
     Under the agreement, MedImmune will fund over the first two years of the
 plan at least $2.5 million for certain research and development activities at
 Genaera. Genaera could receive up to $55 million in milestone payments, plus
 royalties on any product resulting from the agreement. MedImmune will also
 purchase at the closing of a related stock purchase agreement $10 million in
 Genaera convertible preferred stock.
     "MedImmune is one of the premier biotechnology companies, and brings to
 the table significant experience in developing and marketing products in the
 field of respiratory disease.  We are extremely pleased to have them as our
 partner for the IL-9 program," commented Roy C. Levitt, M.D., president and
 chief executive officer of Genaera. "This agreement demonstrates our
 commitment to the development of new medicines, based on our genetic and
 biologic studies demonstrating the importance of IL-9 as the root cause of
 asthma. This alliance will provide the strengths and expertise necessary to
 successfully develop products targeting IL-9 that may one day improve the
 lives of people suffering from asthma and other respiratory diseases."
     According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease
 (NIAID) and the American Lung Association, there are over 65 million patients
 suffering from diseases that may be IL-9 mediated, including 17 million
 asthmatics, 35 million respiratory allergy sufferers, 13 million sufferers of
 chronic bronchitis, and 2.4 million patients afflicted with COPD, a disease
 which claims the lives of over 107,000 Americans annually.  Currently, there
 is no cure for many respiratory distress diseases, including asthma.  Many of
 these diseases currently are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs,
 antibiotics, oral beta antagonists, or bronchodilators for acute use.
      The collaboration and license agreement and related stock purchase
 agreement are expected to close later this month, subject to customary closing
 conditions.
 
     MedImmune, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on developing and
 marketing products that address medical needs in areas such as infectious
 disease, immune regulation and cancer.  Headquartered in Gaithersburg,
 Maryland, MedImmune has manufacturing facilities in Frederick, Maryland and
 Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
 
     Genaera Corporation, formerly Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a
 biopharmaceutical company committed to developing medicines for serious
 diseases from genomics and natural products.  Research and development efforts
 are focused on anti-angiogenesis, obesity, infectious diseases and respiratory
 diseases.  Genaera maintains its headquarters and laboratory facilities in
 Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.
 
     This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information,
 certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.  Such
 statements reflect the current views of MedImmune and Genaera, are based on
 certain assumptions and include, but are not limited to, the ability to treat
 respiratory diseases with antibodies or proteins targeting the IL-9 molecule,
 the effect of an anti-IL-9 product on IL-9 and the response in the lung, the
 ability to successfully develop products targeting IL-9 and the ability to
 close the agreement and stock purchase agreement, Actual results could differ
 materially from those currently anticipated and expressed in these and other
 forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including risks
 and uncertainties discussed in this release and in each of MedImmune and
 Genaera's  filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. There can
 be no assurance that such development efforts with respect to anti-IL-9
 products will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory
 clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such
 products would ultimately achieve commercial success. Each of MedImmune and
 Genaera disclaim any intent or obligation to update, revise or correct these
 forward-looking statements.
 
 SOURCE  MedImmune, Inc.