MedImmune Presents New Data Demonstrating Increased Risk for Medically Attended RSV in Late-Preterm Infants



    Results Showing Burden of RSV Disease Presented at Pediatric Academic
Societies' Annual Meeting

    BALTIMORE, May 5 /CNW/ -- MedImmune today announced results from a recent
study it sponsored, performed by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in
Oakland, CA, assessing risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
infection requiring medical treatment in infants born at 33 weeks gestational
age [GA] or later. The analysis suggested that even mild prematurity (e.g.,
babies born  33-36 weeks GA) is associated with increased risk of medically
attended RSV infection, and that this risk is higher among infants exposed to
supplemental oxygen or assisted ventilation during the neonatal period. These
findings were presented at the 2009 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Annual
Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland by Dr. Gabriel J. Escobar.

    RSV is a leading cause of viral respiratory infection among preterm
infants. Although prematurity is a known risk factor for severe RSV infection,
there is little information available on risk factors among moderately (rather
than extremely) premature babies.

    "The health risks associated with late-preterm birth may be overlooked or
misunderstood because these babies often appear as healthy as full-term
infants. This study contributes to the growing evidence that, late-preterm
infants face greater morbidity and healthcare costs up to at least one year
after birth," noted Parthiv Mahadevia,  M.D., senior director, health outcomes
and pharmacoeconomics,  MedImmune. "In particular, babies born between 33 and
36 weeks GA have under-developed respiratory and immune systems, putting them
at heightened risk for severe RSV disease. Doctors, parents, and the health
care system should be aware of these babies' specialized health needs.

    This study sought to quantify the relationships between neonatal
characteristics and the occurrence of RSV infection requiring medical
attention in the first year of life.

    The study consisted of 117,060 babies born at 33 weeks gestation or
later, who were discharged from six hospitals between January 1, 1996, and
December 31, 2002. The neonatal characteristics evaluated included GA, infant
sex, "small for GA" status, oxygen exposure variables, and hospital discharge
during the RSV season.

    The authors noted that further research is needed to determine whether
strategies to prevent or mitigate RSV infection are needed in late-preterm
infants.

    Additional information about the 2009 PAS conference can be found at
http://www.pas-meeting.org/2009Baltimore/default.asp.
    

    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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