Medivir licenses Respiratory Syncytial Virus drug program from Boehringer Ingelheim
Stockholm, Sweden — Medivir AB (OMX: MVIR) today announces that it has entered a license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH for exclusive, global rights to a drug program for the treatment and prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection.
“RSV is respiratory pathogen that can cause life-threatening infections, especially in children, the elderly and the immunocompromised. It is a major, underserved disease area today, with no effective treatment available” said Maris Hartmanis, Medivir’s CEO. “The in-licensing of this program illustrates Medivir’s strategic intent to enhance its R&D pipeline with high-value, commercial opportunities.”
The program includes novel compounds that inhibit the RSV fusion protein, which is a key mediator of viral entry into host cells and a target for new medicines. “We are very pleased to have secured this program from Boehringer Ingelheim and to have the opportunity to build upon the impressive research already conducted” said Richard Bethell Medivir’s EVP, Discovery Research. “We can now look forward to advancing potential new drugs for the benefit of vulnerable patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement Medivir receives an exclusive, global license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise RSV drugs resulting from Boehringer Ingelheim’s program. Boehringer Ingelheim receives an upfront payment and future success milestones as well as royalties on sales.
For more information please contact:
Rein Piir, EVP Corporate Affairs & IR, mobile: +46 708 537 292
Human respiratory syncytial virus is the main viral cause of respiratory tract infection in infants, the elderly and the severely immunocompromised. Almost all children will have been infected with RSV by the time of their second birthday. It has been estimated that RSV resulted in around 33.8 million lower respiratory tract infections in children younger than 5 years in 2005, with 3.4 million requiring hospitalization and between 66,000 and 199,000 child deaths (Nair et al. 2010). Today only one drug is approved for therapeutic use – ribavirin – but its use is limited by a complex administration procedure, limited efficacy, high cost and toxic side effects. A humanised monoclonal antibody is available for prophylatic use, but it is approved only for prevention of RSV infection in infants that are at very high risk of serious lower respiratory tract disease following infection by RSV. Patients urgently need new, safe and effective drug options for the treatment and prevention of RSV infection.
Medivir is an emerging and profitable research-based pharmaceutical company with an established marketing and sales organisation in the Nordics with a broad portfolio of prescription pharmaceuticals. Medivir receives royalty from Johnson & Johnson global sales of the hepatitis C pharmaceutical Olysio. In addition, revenues for sales of Olysio in the Nordic region is generated through the companies own sales and marketing organisation. Medivir’s research and development portfolio of pharmaceuticals is based on the company’s expertise in polymerase and protease drug targets for different disease areas. The company’s current research and development is focused on infectious diseases, bone related disorders, neuropathic pain and oncology. Medivir is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Mid-Cap list.