InterMune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ITMN) today announced that it will be collaborating with National Jewish Health(R)( )investigators in order to help further the research of inherited genetic factors that may play a role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). InterMune will provide researchers at National Jewish with access to DNA collected from patients who participated in the Company's Phase 3 clinical trials in IPF for both pirfenidone (CAPACITY trials) and Actimmune(R) (interferon gamma-1b) (INSPIRE).
The database, which includes DNA from approximately 1,500 IPF patients, is the largest in the world and offers researchers an opportunity to gain important new insights regarding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease. This announcement comes during the 2009 National Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Awareness Week, which is taking place this year September 14 - 21, 2009.
"This is an ideal partnership that will enhance our chances to make breakthroughs in understanding the causes of this disease, the optimal diagnostic strategies and the best prognosticators for patient outcomes," said David Schwartz, MD, the principal investigator of this research.
"We are pleased to be able to partner with National Jewish Health, one of the world's leading institutions in pulmonary medicine, in this important pursuit to better understand the role that genetic factors may play in the development of IPF, a disease that claims approximately 40,000 lives per year," said Dan Welch, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune. "With nearly a decade of experience in IPF research and development, we are committed toward advancing care for patients with this uniformly fatal disease who currently have no treatment option."
Pulmonary fibrosis has been a major focus of research at National Jewish Health for several decades. Dr. David Schwartz and his colleagues at National Jewish Health, the University of Colorado, Vanderbilt University, and Duke University have been funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to pursue a series of studies designed to identify the genes that predispose individuals to develop fibrosis, to develop novel approaches to classifying this disease process using genetic and molecular tools, and to develop biomarkers for this disease that will lead to earlier recognition and more effective treatment. The collaboration with InterMune helps make these studies possible and builds on the extensive clinical database that InterMune established through their work in pulmonary fibrosis. http://www.intermune.com