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InterMune stock plunges 80% as FDA rejects lung drug

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Shares of InterMune Inc. plunged nearly 80% after-hours Tuesday following the Food and Drug Administration's rejection of the biotech company's application for Esbriet, a drug designed to treat a fatal lung disease.

The company said the FDA has requested an additional clinical trial to support the effectiveness of Esbriet in patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which hinders the body's ability to process oxygen due to inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

"We will meet with the FDA as soon as possible to understand their points of view and to determine the most appropriate path forward to expeditiously make Esbriet available to the approximately 100,000 patients with IPF and their families who suffer from this terrible disease and for whom no FDA-approved medicines exist," InterMune (ITMN) chairman and chief executive Dan Welch said in a prepared statement.

Welch said he was "disappointed" by the outcome, since the FDA's advisory committee recommended the approval of the drug by a 9-3 margin in March.  To top of page

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