Game changing therapy for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis now available in Canada

Game changing therapy for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis now available in Canada 
BURLINGTON, ON, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - When diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary 
fibrosis (IPF), a progressive, debilitating and ultimately fatal disease of 
the lungs, patients have had minimal treatment options - until today. 
Following Health Canada's market approval of Esbriet™ (pirfenidone) 
["Esbriet"] on October 1, 2012, InterMune Canada Inc. has announced that the 
only treatment indicated for mild to moderate IPF in adults is now available 
in Canada. 
"Prior to the availability of Esbriet, we had very little to offer our IPF 
patients, as there were no effective treatments," said Charles Chan, M.D., IPF 
researcher and Consultant Respirologist at University Health Network, and 
Professor and Vice-Chair of Medicine, University of Toronto. "Esbriet really 
is a game-changer. I am excited to finally have a treatment option with proven 
benefits for patients who are living with this deadly and life-limiting 
Esbriet was approved by Health Canada following a priority review granted due 
to the seriousness of IPF and the significant medical need for treatment. 
Esbriet is the only drug approved in Canada with a specific IPF indication. 
Developed by InterMune Inc., the treatment has been shown to slow disease 
progression and to decrease the decline in lung function in adult patients 
with mild to moderate IPF, when compared to placebo. The most common side 
effects are gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting) and skin (photosensitivity) 
"On this pivotal day for IPF patients, we are proud to make Esbriet available 
in Canada and we now want to ensure it is appropriately accessible," said 
Daniel Welch, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune. 
"Patient access to treatment is a priority for InterMune and we are working 
diligently with public and private payers and reimbursement agencies to make 
Esbriet accessible to appropriate Canadian patients who may benefit from this 
new treatment option." 
Patient survey reveals impact of unmet medical need
An Investigation into Patient Experiences with IPF(ii) revealed that new, safe 
and effective treatment options for IPF are needed to address low patient 
satisfaction levels. According to the survey, IPF patients were dissatisfied 
with the lack of effective therapy and 36 per cent of patients discontinued 
their experimental treatment because their doctor indicated the treatment was 
"Through this survey, Canadians clearly conveyed that the frightening 
diagnosis of IPF along with its low life expectancy is made considerably more 
difficult by the lack of treatment options available," said Robert Davidson, 
President of the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (CPFF). "With the 
availability of Esbriet in Canada, we finally have a reason for hope. This 
is a very good day for IPF patients in Canada and I am optimistic that 
Canadians living with IPF will be granted swift access to this treatment" 
IPF is an interstitial lung disease with no known cause. It is characterized 
predominantly by fibrosis (scarring) of the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs. 
In patients with IPF, the lung tissue becomes scarred and over time, as the 
scarring becomes thicker and more widespread, the lungs lose their ability to 
transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. The disease is more common in men than 
women and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 80 years. Studies 
suggest that 5,000 to 8,000 Canadians suffer from IPF, with an estimated 3,000 
to 5,000 having mild to moderate disease. There are an estimated 3,000 deaths 
each year in Canada associated with the disease. 
About InterMune Canada Inc.
InterMune is a biotechnology company focused on the research, development and 
commercialization of innovative therapies in respirology and orphan fibrotic 
diseases. In respirology, the company is focused on therapies for the 
treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Pirfenidone is approved for 
marketing by InterMune in the EU and Canada as Esbriet™, and is currently in 
a Phase 3 clinical trial to support regulatory registration in the United 
States. InterMune's research programs are focused on the discovery of 
targeted, small-molecule therapeutics and biomarkers to treat and monitor 
serious pulmonary and fibrotic diseases. For additional information about 
InterMune and its R&D pipeline, please visit 
(i) Retrieved from: on October 
25, 2012 (Esbriet product monograph) 
(ii) An Investigation into Patient Experiences with IPF; conducted by 
Doxapharma (2012). Survey of 63 Canadians with IPF about their care and 
quality of life between March and July 2012 
Tonya Johnson Cohn & Wolfe 647-259-3282 
Nic Canning Cohn & Wolfe 647-259-3276 
Video with caption: "Video: Esbriet (Pirfenidone) - First Treatment for IPF 
Now Available In Canada.". Video available at:
SOURCE: InterMune Canada Inc. 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
CO: InterMune Canada Inc.
ST: Ontario
-0- Jan/17/2013 13:00 GMT
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.