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InterMune Presents Research on ITMN-191 in Hepatitis C at EASL,Annual Meeting

Presentations include preclinical data for potential combination therapies and details of N3/4A protease sequence variations after ITMN-191 exposure

BARCELONA, Spain, April 11, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- InterMune, Inc. announced today the presentation of findings from three in vitro experiments concerning its HCV protease inhibitor ITMN-191, alone or in combination with other compounds, at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Barcelona, Spain.

The first presentation concerned the activity of ITMN-191 alone or in combination with PEG-IFN-alfa-2a (Roche's Pegasys(R)) in an in vitro model of HCV clearance. These experiments explored the concentrations of ITMN-191 needed to achieve HCV replicon clearance from a human liver cell line during a two-week course of treatment. Complete clearance of replicon RNA was achieved with a 14-day treatment of only 45 nM of ITMN-191; a concentration well below that achieved in the liver of animal species following twice-daily oral dosing. Combination of the minimum human plasma concentration of PEG-IFN-alfa-2a with 15 nM of ITMN-191 also promoted durable replicon clearance, indicating clinical investigation of the anti-HCV activity of the two agents in combination is warranted.

The second experiment described the synergistic antiviral activity of ITMN-191 with Roche's R1479, an inhibitor of the HCV NS5B polymerase. The in vitro antiviral activity of each agent was enhanced when used in combination. Additionally, the replicon with reduced sensitivity to ITMN-191 remained fully sensitive to R1479, suggesting that the combination of these two agents could decrease the potential for the development of drug-resistant HCV variants in monotherapy treatments.

"With our continued research, we are better understanding the antiviral effects of ITMN-191, alone and in combination with other agents, such as polymerase inhibi
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