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Roche Acquires Rights to InterMune HCV Protease Inhibitor Danoprevir

SUMMARY: Biopharmaceutical company InterMune announced this week that it has sold all rights to its experimental hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor danoprevir to Hoffman-La Roche. InterMune and Roche previously were collaborating on development of the drug, formerly designated by the respective companies' code names, ITMN-191 and RG7227. Researchers reported at the European Association for the Study of the Liver meeting (EASL 2010) this past spring that danoprevir boosted with ritonavir (Norvir) demonstrated favorable antiviral activity and was generally well-tolerated in combination with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin.

Below is an excerpt from a press release issued by InterMune describing the new agreement.

InterMune Sells Danoprevir Rights to Roche for $175 Million

Brisbane, Calif. -- October 6, 2010 -- InterMune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ITMN) today announced that it has sold worldwide development and commercialization rights to danoprevir (also known as RG7227 or ITMN-191) to Hoffman-La Roche Inc. and F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. for $175 million in cash. In connection with this transaction, the collaboration agreement that InterMune and Roche entered into in October 2006 has been terminated. In addition, the companies are actively exploring ways to continue their ongoing work together on other HCV research programs. InterMune noted that as a result of this transaction, the company will make no further investment in danoprevir and that, including net proceeds from the transaction, it currently expects to have a cash balance of approximately $290 million at the end of 2010.

Dan Welch, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune said, "After conducting a careful review of our strategy and financial position, we have decided to divest our rights to danoprevir to Roche. This transaction provides a very substantial non-dilutive cash infusion that allows us to continue to independently and aggressively pursue the registration and commercialization of pirfenidone in the US and EU, and eliminates our obligation to make significant ongoing investments related to the further development and commercialization of danoprevir. We are now in a very strong financial position that provides us with the resources and flexibility to maximize the value of pirfenidone, our largest and nearest-term value creation opportunity."

About InterMune

InterMune is a biotechnology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of innovative therapies in pulmonology and hepatology. InterMune has an R&D portfolio addressing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. The pulmonology portfolio includes pirfenidone for which InterMune has completed a Phase 3 program in patients with IPF (CAPACITY). A Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for pirfenidone is under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The hepatology portfolio includes next-generation HCV protease inhibitor and NS5A research programs.

For additional information about InterMune and its R&D pipeline, please visit


InterMune, Inc. InterMune Sells Danoprevir Rights to Roche for $175 Million. Press release. October 6, 2010.






















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