MedImmune brand retired as its work is integrated into AstraZeneca
The MedImmune brand is to be retired as its work is integrated into AstraZeneca.
MedImmune has been the biologics research and development arm of the Cambridge-based global biopharmaceutical company since it was purchased for $15.6billion in 2007.
But biologics are now integrated into the new therapy area-focused R&D units created by AstraZeneca under organisational changes announced in January.
One of the units focuses on biopharmaceuticals (cardiovascular, renal and metabolism and respiratory), while the other is for oncology.
MedImmune is based at Granta Park, but the creation of the new AstraZeneca global headquarters and R&D centre on Cambridge Biomedical Campus was always intended to bring its staff under one roof with their colleagues.
A statement from MedImmune said: “While the MedImmune name and logo will no longer be used, a proud legacy of scientific innovation remains, as does the entrepreneurial culture that MedImmune has stood for over its 30-year history.
“Today nearly half of the AstraZeneca pipeline is comprised of biologics, providing momentum for the company’s newly structured R&D units to continue to discover and develop life-changing treatments as a fully integrated organisation.”
The history of MedImmune also includes the story of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) - the biotechnology company that created adalimumab, the first fully human antibody blockbuster drug, sold as Humira. CAT, acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006 for £702million, was integrated into MedImmune to create the biologics arm.
MedImmune’s external collaborations and partnerships will continue, and recruiting channels will remain active to ensure potential recruits remains aware of opportunities, but the MedImmune’s social media will be discontinued and its website will redirect to AstraZeneca’s.
The announcement came on the day AstraZeneca announced encouraging full-year results, which showed a return to growth, with product sales up four per cent for 2018, and eight per cent ($5.77billion) in quarter four, although total revenue for the year declined by two per cent.
New medicines were key to the return to growth, with $2.8billion of incremental sales, up 81 per cent. There were also strong results in China, with sales up 25 per cent in the year to nearly $3.8billion.
More by this authorPaul Brackley