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InterMune Falls Most Since 2010 After Negative Study

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Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- InterMune Inc., which won European approval in February for lung-disease drug Esbriet, fell the most since May 2010 after a German health agency said the therapy offered little benefit to patients.

The report, from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, a group that offers recommendations to Germany’s reimbursement authority, says Esbriet, also known as pirfenidone has no or low additional benefit, Brian Abrahams of Wells Fargo Securities wrote today in a note to clients.

“While the initial read of the documents appears somewhat negative, we note that orphan drugs may be viewed differently as they go through this process,” Abrahams said in the note.

Esbriet was approved in Europe to treat mild to moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that robs patients of their ability to breathe and leads to death. The drug may reach $513 million in sales by 2014, the average estimate of four analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

InterMune, based in Brisbane, California, slid 30 percent to $12.74 at the close of trading in New York. Shares have declined 65 percent this year.

Jim Goff, a spokesman for InterMune, didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Flinn in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at