MedImmune Inc. didn't waste any time rolling out RespiGam.
The Gaithersburg, Md., company, which announced FDA approvalfor the immune globulin drug on Monday, said Friday it began salesof RespiGam. RespiGam was approved to prevent respiratorysyncytial virus disease in children less than 24 months old withbronchopulmonary dysplasia or a history of prematurity.
MedImmune on Friday also said it received a $4.5 million milestonepayment from RespiGam collaborator American Home ProductsCorp., of Madison, N.J. RespiGam will be co-promoted in the U.S.by MedImmune and the Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics salesforce of American Home's Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
The milestone was the final one stemming from the 1993collaboration between American Home and MedImmune. To dateMedImmune has disclosed receipt of $24 million from that deal, saidMark Kaufmann, manager of strategic planning and investor relationsfor MedImmune. The parties have a profit-sharing arrangement onRespiGam sales, the terms of which are not being disclosed.
"We just finished our week-long sales meeting and people are out inthe field today [Friday] selling the product," Kaufmann said. Lastweek MedImmune expanded its sales force from 16 to 56 people inanticipation of the launch.
The average cost for RespiGam treatment for the full RSV season isestimated at $4,500.
"In the U.S. the RSV season typically runs from early Novemberthrough April," said David Mott, MedImmune's president and chiefoperating officer. "During the remainder of this RSV season weexpect very modest sales and our focus will be on preparation for afull launch of RespiGam in fall 1996."
MedImmune's stock (NASDAQ:MEDI) closed down 19 cents Fridayat $18.56. _ Jim Shrine
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