InterMune, Inc. earned a $15 million development milestone under its collaboration with Roche for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 protease inhibitor compound ITMN-191 (R7227), currently in a Phase Ib combination trial with Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) and Copegus (ribavirin).
Under the terms of the 2006 collaboration agreement, Roche will take over primary responsibility for Phase II trials and for completing the global development and registration program for ITMN-191.
Nick Cammack, Ph.D., global head of the virology disease biology area, Roche, said, "Protease inhibition is a crucial aspect of our HCV strategy, which is focused on developing clinically differentiated medicines for patients. Our continued enthusiasm for ITMN-191/R7227 underscores our confidence in InterMune and we now plan to rapidly move the program into Phase II development."
Dan Welch, chairman, chief executive officer and president of InterMune, said, "We are very pleased to have led the preclinical development, conducted three Phase I trials and with Roche, optimized the manufacturing of ITMN-191 active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) since the collaboration was announced less than two years ago. We look forward to the continued strong relationship with Roche as we together develop protease inhibitor therapies in combination with current standard of care and with other direct antiviral agents."