InterMune (program now owned by Roche) – Danoprevir Hepatitis C Virus NS3/4 Protease Program
In 2002, we entered into a Drug Discovery Collaboration Agreement with InterMune for the discovery of novel small molecule inhibitors of the Hepatitis C Virus, or HCV, NS3/4A protease. As a result of drug discovery activities under this collaboration, scientists at Array and InterMune jointly discovered danoprevir. In October 2010, Roche acquired danoprevir from InterMune for $175 million. InterMune thereafter ceased all further development efforts under the collaboration. Under the terms of Array's collaboration agreement with InterMune, InterMune has an obligation to make milestone payments to us based on the selection and progress of danoprevir, as well as royalties on commercial sales of danoprevir. To date, we have received $1.8 million in milestone payments and have the potential to earn an additional $7.5 million if all clinical and commercialization milestones for danoprevir are achieved under the agreement.
Development Status: In 2011, Roche expanded its portfolio of investigational medicines for HCV through the purchase of danoprevir. The hepatitis market is evolving and, to meet the different needs of people infected with HCV, future treatment options are likely to include interferon-free, as well as interferon-containing triple- and quadruple-combination therapy regimens. Roche has several oral, direct-acting antiviral agents in late-stage development for HCV, including danoprevir, which is currently in Phase 2. Danoprevir is being studied in the following Phase 2 trials: MATTERHORN, which compares interferon-free, interferon-based triple and interferon-based quadruple regimens in patients who failed interferon/RBV and ANNAPURNA, which is a interferon-free combination of different direct-acting antivirals in treatment naive patients. Roche also conducted Phase 2 trials with danoprevir, DAUPHINE and INFORM-SVR.
In April 2012, Roche announced data at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver Congress from the DAUPHINE and INFORM-SVR studies. The DAUPHINE trial showed high sustained viral response, or SVR, rates, maintaining undetectable viral levels 12 weeks after stopping treatment, and good tolerability with danoprevir in interferon-containing regimens for HCV. In this trial, up to 93% of genotype 1 and 100% of genotype 4 patients achieved SVR12 with ritonavir-boosted danoprevir, interferon and ribavirin, considered a clinical cure. In the INFORM-SVR Phase 2 trial, 71% of genotype 1b patients achieved SVR12 with boosted danoprevir, mericitabine and ribavirin as part of an interferon-free regimen.
In April 2013, Roche and Ascletis announced that they will collaborate to develop and commercialize danoprevir in China. It is estimated that over 10 million patients in China are chronically infected with HCV. The majority of these patients are genotype 1b, which has been shown to be responsive to danoprevir. Roche and Ascletis are collaborating to develop a therapy with the potential to address a serious public health problem and to provide an effective new treatment option for Chinese patients with HCV.