May 19, 2006 01:59 ET

Acambis PLC - Opposition to MVA Patent

Cambridge, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 19, 2006 --

        Acambis and Baxter file oppositions to European MVA patent

Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts - 19 May 2006 - Acambis plc (Acambis) (LSE: ACM, NASDAQ: ACAM) announces that it has filed an opposition to European Patent No. 1 335 987 issued to Bavarian Nordic A/S (Bavarian Nordic) on 28 December 2005 by the European Patent Office.

The patent relates to Bavarian Nordic's MVA technology, MVA-BN®. MVA is an attenuated smallpox vaccine, Modified Vaccinia Ankara, that has been used in Europe since the late 1970s. Acambis opposes the patent on the grounds that the patent is invalid. Acambis' partner, Baxter Healthcare SA, which manufactures Acambis' MVA vaccine, MVA3000, in Austria, has also filed an opposition to the European patent on the grounds that the patent is invalid.

Acambis is bidding for a US Government contract to supply an emergency-use stockpile of MVA.

Gordon Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis, commented:

"We strongly believe that the patent awarded to Bavarian Nordic in Europe is invalid. This belief is supported by evidence presented at the International Trade Commission hearing held over the last two weeks in relation to Bavarian Nordic's US patent for MVA-BN®. Filing this opposition is part of our strategy vigorously to defend our freedom to operate in the MVA field, which we will defend in whatever forum necessary."



Acambis plc

Gordon Cameron, Chief Executive Officer:    Tel +1 (617) 761 4200

David Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer:    Tel: +44 (0) 1223 275 300

Lyndsay Wright, VP, Communications and IR:  Tel +44 (0) 1223 275 300

Financial Dynamics

David Yates/Anna Keeble:                    Tel +44 (0) 20 7831 3113

About Acambis

Acambis is a leading developer of vaccines to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Recognised internationally as the leading producer of smallpox vaccines, Acambis is developing an investigational smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, and is manufacturing emergency-use stockpiles of this investigational vaccine for the US Government and other governments around the world. It is also developing an attenuated smallpox vaccine, MVA3000, under contracts with the US National Institutes of Health. Acambis' US-based subsidiary Berna Products Corporation markets Vivotif®, the world's only licensed oral typhoid vaccine, in North America. Acambis' investigational vaccine against Japanese encephalitis, ChimeriVax-JE, is undergoing Phase 3 clinical testing. It also has the most advanced investigational vaccine against the West Nile virus, which has spread to 48 US States in the last seven years, and a vaccine against Clostridium difficile bacteria, a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Acambis is based in Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange (ACM) and its shares are listed in the form of American Depositary Receipts on NASDAQ (ACAM). More information is available at

"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

The statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the timing and results of clinical trials, product development, manufacturing and commercialisation risks, the risks of satisfying the regulatory approval process in a timely manner, the need for and the availability of additional capital. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties see "Risk management" in the Company's Annual Report and "Risk factors" in its Form 20-F, in addition to those detailed on the Company's website and in the Company's filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the management of Acambis and are believed to be reasonable, though are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Actual results or experience could differ materially from the forward-looking statements.

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