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Fw: NATAP: Roche & Intermune Make HCV Drug Development Deal

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  • Alley Pat
    NATAP http://natap.org/ ... Roche, InterMune team up on hepatitis C NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2006
      NATAP http://natap.org/
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      Roche, InterMune team up on hepatitis C

      NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and InterMune Inc. (ITMN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday they will work together to develop and commercialize hepatitis C treatments in a deal that will bring InterMune an upfront payment of $60 million and up to $470 million in milestone payments.

      Shares of InterMune jumped 30.7 percent in after-hours trading following announcement of the deal that also includes a 50-50 split of any U.S. profits from products that come out of the collaboration.

      The agreement involves InterMune's lead experimental drug candidate for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a protease inhibitor known as ITMN-191 that is expected to begin early stage clinical trials before the end of this year.

      InterMune could receive $35 million of the milestone payments within the next 12 months, the companies said.

      The companies also will collaborate on a research program to identify, develop and commercialize novel second-generation protease inhibitors for treatment of hepatitis C.

      "We believe that protease inhibitors may become an important new component of HCV treatments and we look forward to working with InterMune in the development of ITMN-191 and other potential compounds that may emerge from our collaboration," Peter Hug, Global Head of Pharma Partnering for Swiss-based Roche, said in a statement.

      An estimated 3.9 million Americans have been infected with the hepatitis C virus, of whom 2.7 million are chronically infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 170 million people worldwide are afflicted with the disease.

      InterMune, based in Brisbane, Calif., will lead phase 1 clinical trials For ITMN-191 after which Roche will take control of clinical development and commercialization, according to terms of the deal.

      Roche agreed to fund 67 percent of the global development costs for ITMN-191, but the companies will split any U.S. profits evenly.

      InterMune will receive royalties on sales outside the United States, or the company may opt-out of either co-development or co-commercialization for ITMN-191, in which case InterMune would receive higher royalties from outside U.S. sales and royalties instead of profit sharing in the United States.

      InterMune shares rose to $22 in extended electronic trading from their Nasdaq close at $16.83.



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