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NEW STUDY DEMONSTRATES FIRST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF PREVENTING A DANGEROUS RESPIRATORY INFECTION IN INFANTS

 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Society for Pediatric Research conference here today, it was reported that Respivir(TM), a new medical therapy developed by MedImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: MEDI), has been demonstrated to be effective in preventing severe, sometimes fatal, lung infections in high risk infants and children. The infections are caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of viral pneumonia in early childhood. RSV infections are responsible for more than 91,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths annually in the United States. Many who survive have long-term lung complications. RSV is especially prevalent in premature infants and children under age two with underlying heart or lung disease.
 "This study suggests that Respivir(TM) offers effective and safe protection for infants and children at risk for serious RSV infections," said Jessie R. Groothuis, M.D., the lead investigator of the study. "By reducing the number of hospitalizations and days in the hospital and intensive care unit, Respivir(TM) should also help alleviate the financial burden of managing serious RSV infections and their long-term consequences." Dr. Groothuis is an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the neonatal high-risk follow-up program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital, Denver.
 In a three-year multicenter trial reported today at one of the industry's most prestigious conferences, treatment with Respivir(TM), which is highly specific for RSV, produced several beneficial effects. Children treated with 750 mg/kg of the drug experienced a:
 -- 62 percent reduction in lower respiratory tract infections;
 -- 72 percent reduction in moderate to severe RSV disease;
 -- 63 percent reduction in hospitalizations;
 -- 63 percent reduction in hospital days; and
 -- 97 percent reduction in intensive care unit days.
 "The implications of this study are wide-reaching not only for MedImmune, but also for the thousands of children affected by RSV disease each year," said MedImmune's CEO Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D.
 Facts About Respiratory Syncytial Virus
 What is RSV?
 -- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the leading cause of viral pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children and is recognized as one of the most serious illnesses of early childhood.
 -- RSV infections are thought to be responsible for more than 91,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths annually in the United States.
 Children At High Risk:
 -- RSV afflicts more than 50 percent of all infants in the first year of life and has particularly serious consequences in premature infants and children under age two with underlying heart or lung disease.
 -- RSV can predispose children to asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases later in life.
 -- Contributing to the vulnerability of young infants to RSV is the narrow diameter of lower airway passages, which likely become obstructed more readily during infection.
 -- The immunological immaturity of young infants is another factor -- an infant's only protection is provided by maternal antibodies that are lost 1 to 2 months after birth.
 Prevention, Treatment, and Transmission:
 -- At present, there is no vaccine available to prevent infection, and there are limited treatment options for serious RSV disease.
 -- RSV infections tend to peak during the colder months. In the United States, outbreaks generally peak between November and April.
 -- RSV, which is highly contagious, is spread by direct contact via hands, clothing, surfaces, and other objects that may harbor the virus, as well as through contact with aerosol droplets that occur with sneezing.
 -- Infection control steps are not completely effective in preventing transmission of RSV in the hospital.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Further background information is available by calling Noonan/Russo Communications at the number below/
 /CONTACT: David M. Mott, vice president, business development and planning, of MedImmune, Inc., 301-417-0770, or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., of Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc., 212-979-9180, for MedImmune, Inc./
 (MEDI)


CO: MedImmune, Inc. ST: Maryland IN: MTC SU:

TS-OS -- NY074 -- 5506 05/06/93 13:30 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1993
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