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InterMune (ITMN) is a not yet profitable biotech based in Brisbane, California. The company is heavily invested in the development of orally delivered, Esbriet (pirfenidone). In February 2011, Esbriet was granted marketing authorization in all 27 EU countries for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [IPF], an orphan indication with a relatively large patient base.

A glaring unmet need

IPF is a chronic, progressive, and fatal disease with an unknown cause characterized by the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue, or fibrosis, of the lungs' supporting framework. The disease progresses rapidly, and the median survival time from diagnosis is just two to five years. The five year survival rate is between 20-40 percent. Currently, Esbriet is the only...

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