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Starting in the Marketplace

Executive Summary

InterMune spun out of Connetics three years ago to develop many small infectious disease indications for interferon gamma (Actimmune), which Genentech had virtually abandoned. Soon after InterMune was established, it received a pleasant surprise when Actimmune showed activity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. That unexpected blockbuster market opportunity accelerated its growth, enabling the company to go public and raise over $450 million with which to expand its resources and clinical programs. With Actimmune as a model, InterMune has been able to in-license three other marketed and late-stage products. Now it wants to add preclinical or IND compounds to its portfolio. However, taking on early-stage risk to be able to capture a greater share of the upside of a drug puts the company in the same arena as many other in-licensors, one where its clinical and medical marketing expertise are less critical skill sets. Phase III data on Actimmune in IPF are expected in November. An early commercial success in this disease could make InterMune a player in M&A.
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