After a relatively quiet few months for drug developer InterMune
In advance of a major liver-disease conference in November, InterMune and development partner Roche released data and abstracts for protease inhibitior ITMN-191 from several preclinical and phase 1 studies of the drug.
Unlike some of ITMN-191's potential rivals, testing's still in too early a stage to draw definitive conclusions about its efficacy against competitors. That said, its initial results seem roughly comparable to other drugs' preliminary performance. In one 14-day study of patients who'd failed other hepatitis C therapies, ITMN-191 lowered the levels of hepatitis C in patients to roughly the same average level that Vertex's
In Wednesday's release, InterMune also included some preclinical data testing ITMN-191 with other Roche hepatitis C compounds. Ironically, ITMN-191's future might depend as much on the success of one of Roche's hepatitis C partners as on its own.
Over the past several months, Vertex and Schering-Plough
If Roche's polymerase/protease inhibitor combinations work notably better (and no less safely) than Schering and Vertex's single-therapy approaches, ITMN-191 could become the protease inhibitor of choice for treating hep C. That will be particularly true if doctors display a preference for drugs proven in combination testing, rather than leaning toward Vertex or Schering's compounds.
Many potential hep C compounds that produced solid preclinical data, like ViroPharma