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Oct 17, 2006

Agreement Potentially Worth $530-M Reached by Roche and InterMune

  • Roche will exclusively license InterMune’s lead candidate compound, ITMN-191, according to a collaboration agreement between the two firms. The companies will also collaborate on a research program to identify, develop, and commercialize second-generation HCV protease inhibitors.

    InterMune will conduct Phase I studies on ITMN-191, expected to start at the end of 2006. Thereafter, Roche will lead clinical development and commercialization.

    Upon closing, InterMune will receive from Roche an upfront payment of $60 million. In addition, assuming the successful development and commercialization of ITMN-191 in the U.S. and other countries, InterMune could potentially receive up to $470 million in milestones, including $35 million within the next 12 months.

    Roche will fund 67% of the global development costs for ITMN-191 and the companies will co-commercialize the product in the U.S. and share profits on a 50-50 basis. InterMune will receive royalties outside the U.S. The economic terms for ITMN-191 could also apply to additional compounds that InterMune and Roche develop and commercialize.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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