Royalty Deal May Settle Lawsuit Over InterMune, Inc. (ITMN) Lung Drug  
2/20/2013 8:04:30 AM

InterMune Inc. will pay a Japanese drug maker a 4.25 percent royalty on European sales from this year into 2021 of its treatment for a fatal lung-scarring disease, according to a proposed settlement of a lawsuit. Importantly for Brisbane-based InterMune (NASDAQ: ITMN), it will not pay a royalty to Shionogi & Co. of Osaka, Japan, on potential U.S. sales of the drug, known as Esbriet or pirfenidone, unless it uses certain data from Shionogi's studies. InterMune has estimated 2012 European sales of the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treatment at $26.1 million. Final sales figures are expected Thursday, when InterMune releases its financial report. Esbriet was rejected in May 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration, but InterMune is undertaking a Phase III trial to win U.S. approval. Shionogi, which won approval of the drug in Japan in 2008 and licensed it to InterMune, brought the suit last summer in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. It claimed that InterMune breached its collaboration deal by submitting proprietary information from Shionogi's clinical trials of pirfenidone in a regulatory filing with the European Medicines Agency.