Updated on 27 August 2014
Roche markets Pulmozyme and Xolair for respiratory diseases in clinical development
Singapore: Global biopharmaceutical company, Roche, has acquired InterMune, a biotechnology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of innovative therapies in pulmonology and fibrotic diseases, at USD8.3 billion.
InterMune's lead medicine pirfenidone is approved for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in the EU and Canada and under regulatory review in the United States. IPF is a progressive, irreversible and ultimately fatal disease characterized by progressive loss of lung function due to fibrosis, or scarring, in the lungs. Roche markets Pulmozyme and Xolair in the US and has other novel therapeutic medicines targeting respiratory diseases in clinical development.
Commenting on the transaction, Mr Severin Schwan, CEO, Roche, said, "We are very pleased that we reached this agreement with InterMune. Our offer provides significant value to InterMune's shareholders and this acquisition will complement Roche's strengths in pulmonary therapy. We look forward to welcoming InterMune employees into the Roche Group and to making a difference for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating disease."
Mr Dan Welch, chairman, CEO and president, InterMune, said, "This merger recognizes the significant value created by our team's commitment, hard work and execution for more than a decade to develop and commercialize treatment options for IPF patients and their families. Roche shares our passion and commitment to the IPF community and to ensuring that pirfenidone is available as quickly as possible to patients in the United States, pending FDA approval. Roche's global resources and scale will not only facilitate and accelerate our ability to deliver pirfenidone to more patients around the world, but also to realize our joint vision to bring additional innovative therapies to patients with respiratory diseases."
Pirfenidone has been marketed by InterMune in the EU and Canada as Esbriet since regulatory approval in 2011 and 2012 respectively. After previous regulatory review in the USA in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended an additional Phase 3 clinical trial to support the efficacy of pirfenidone.