MedImmune Expands Access for Eligible Premature Infants to Receive Synagis(R) at No Cost



    Company Increases Eligibility to Its Patient Assistance Program to 400
Percent of Federal Poverty; as Many as 75 Percent of U.S. Households May Now
Qualify for This Program

    GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune today announced the
expansion of the MedImmune Assistance Program for Synagis(R) (palivizumab)
designed to provide the antibody at no cost to qualifying patients who lack
health insurance and whose family household income falls within a certain
range of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines established by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Synagis is a biologic medicine
known as a monoclonal antibody administered monthly to high-risk infants to
prevent serious lower respiratory tract infection caused by respiratory
syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of viral respiratory infection among
infants.

    Effective July 1, 2009, patients with household income up to 400 percent
of the FPL (e.g. a household of four with an income up to $88,200), and
without healthcare coverage or medical insurance, may be eligible to receive
Synagis at no cost. This marks a significant expansion over the program's
previous eligibility ceiling of 250 percent of the FPL (e.g. $55,125 for that
same four-member household).

    "MedImmune recognizes the rising cost of healthcare and the burden those
expenses can have on working families who lack insurance through no fault of
their own," said Tony Zook, MedImmune President. "This expansion of the
MedImmune Assistance Program makes it possible for as many as 75 percent of
U.S. households without health insurance and with eligible infants to apply to
receive the established preventive benefits of Synagis as prescribed by their
doctor at no cost to the family."

    The MedImmune Assistance Program is administered as part of the Synagis
Reimbursement Hotline and can be reached by calling 1-877-778-9010. A health
care provider can review the patient's eligibility with a program specialist.

    In addition, MedImmune supports The Patient Access Network Foundation
(PANF), which is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated
to supporting the needs of insured patients who cannot afford the treatments
they need due to out-of-pocket health care costs. More information about the
help that's available for RSV prevention and treatment can be found by
visiting www.patientaccessnetwork.org.
    

    About Synagis
    
    Synagis(R) (palivizumab) is a prescription medication that is used to
help prevent a serious lung disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus
(RSV) in children at high risk. Synagis is given as a shot, usually in the
thigh muscle, each month during the RSV season. Children who develop an RSV
infection while receiving Synagis should continue the monthly dosing schedule
throughout the season.

    Synagis should not be used in patients with a history of a severe
allergic reaction to Synagis or its ingredients. Cases of severe allergic
reactions such as anaphylaxis and other types of hypersensitivity reactions
have been reported with Synagis. These reactions may occur when any dose of
Synagis is given, not just the first one. Very low platelet counts may occur,
which may lead to unusual bruising and/or groups of pinpoint red spots found
on the skin.

    Common side effects may include fever, cold-like symptoms (upper
respiratory infection) including runny nose and ear infection, and rash. Other
possible side effects include skin reactions around the area where the shot
was given (like redness, swelling, warmth or discomfort). In children born
with certain types of heart disease, other possible side effects include
bluish color of the skin, lips or under fingernails and abnormal heart
rhythms. These are not all the possible side effects of Synagis.
    

    About RSV
    
    Each year, up to 125,000 infants in the United States are hospitalized
with severe RSV infections, the leading cause of lower respiratory tract
infections in U.S. infants. RSV is the most common respiratory infection in
infancy or childhood. Approximately one-half of all infants are infected with
RSV during the first year of life, and nearly all children have been infected
at least once by the time they reach their second birthday. Children born
prematurely as well as those with chronic lung disease (CLD) or congenital
heart disease (CHD) are at highest risk for severe disease and hospitalization
due to RSV. The virus may also cause severe illness in other high-risk groups.

    A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found
that RSV accounts for one of every 13 visits to a pediatrician, one of every
38 emergency room trips, and inpatient hospital stays for one out of every 334
children.
    

    About MedImmune
    
    MedImmune, the worldwide biologics business for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE:
AZN.L, NYSE:   AZN), has approximately 3,100 employees worldwide and is
headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of
promising candidates, we aim to be the next revolutionary force in
biotechnology by delivering life-changing products, industry-leading
performance, and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more
information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.
    


    




For further information:

For further information: Tor Constantino of MedImmune, +1-301-398-5801,
constantinos@medimmune.com Web Site: http://www.medimmune.com

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