InterMune Inc, Brisbane, Calif, and National Jewish Health, Denver, are collaborating efforts to further the research of inherited genetic factors that may play a role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The announcement comes during the 2009 National Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Awareness Week, September 14 – 21, 2009.

According to an announcement from InterMune, the company will provide researchers at National Jewish with access to DNA collected from patients who participated in the company’s Phase 3 clinical trials in IPF for both pirfenidone (CAPACITY trials) and Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b) (INSPIRE).

The database is the largest of its kind in the world and includes DNA from approximately 1,500 IPF patients.

"This is an ideal partnership that will enhance our chances to make breakthroughs in understanding the causes of this disease, the optimal diagnostic strategies and the best prognosticators for patient outcomes," said principal investigator David Schwartz, MD, in the announcement.

"We are pleased to be able to partner with National Jewish Health, one of the world’s leading institutions in pulmonary medicine, in this important pursuit to better understand the role that genetic factors may play in the development of IPF, a disease that claims approximately 40,000 lives per year," said Dan Welch, chief executive officer and president of InterMune. "With nearly a decade of experience in IPF research and development, we are committed toward advancing care for patients with this uniformly fatal disease who currently have no treatment option."