) recently received encouraging news when the pricing and
reimbursement conditions for its sole marketed drug, Esbriet,
were approved by the Board of the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA).
Esbriet is approved in the EU for the treatment of idiopathic
pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal lung disease.
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InterMune mentioned in its press release that around 6,000 to
9,000 patients suffering from mild-to-moderate IPF are currently
living in Italy. Once launched, Esbriet will be the first drug to
be commercially available in Italy for the treatment of IPF.
InterMune expects the reimbursement process of the drug to start
within the next few days. Esbriet's gross ex-factory price is set
at around $44,000 per patient, per year and is subject to a
mandatory national discount of 9.75%.
Meanwhile, Esbriet has been successfully priced and reimbursed in
11 other European countries apart from Italy, namely, Austria,
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway,
Sweden, England, and Finland. The drug is already launched in all
these countries except England and Finland where it will be
launched soon. InterMune believes that it will generate revenues
from these countries from the second half of this year.
Moreover, InterMune plans to conclude pricing and reimbursement
discussions in Ireland shortly and potentially launch the drug
there in the third quarter of 2013. The company also expects to
provide an update on pricing and reimbursement discussions in
Spain and the Netherlands by the end of the year.
InterMune expects to generate around $40−$70 million of Esbriet
sales in 2013. The guidance includes $40-$55 million from
countries where the product is currently launched and the rest
from countries where the drug is yet to be launched.
Though Esbriet is the only approved medicine for IPF, companies
) are also developing candidates for IPF.
InterMune presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However,
Elan Corporation, plc
) currently looks more attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).