MedImmune licensed its reverse genetics intellectual property to Novartis. The transaction will support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce inactivated human seasonal, prepandemic, and pandemic influenza vaccines.
MedImmune will receive an upfront payment and has the potential to receive royalties on certain vaccine stockpiles or sales of other influenza products.
Reverse genetics is a method by which viruses such as influenza can be generated from segments of DNA. For prospective pandemic influenza vaccines, it can be a useful technology because the process does not require manufacturers to work directly with potentially infectious pandemic strains such as H5N1 rather only segments of the virus’ genome, according to MedImmune.