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Why InterMune Shares Popped

Thursday - 3/21/2013, 12:55pm  ET

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biotechnology company InterMune climbed as high as 11% today after announcing plans to launch its lung disease treatment Esbriet in the U.K.

So what: The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended Esbriet to treat patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, reigniting investor optimism over the drug's sales potential going forward. However, a few Wall Street analysts believe that Esbriet's global acceptance still rests heavily on its approval in the U.S. -- it was initially rejected by the FDA in 2010 -- so Fools should be cautious about getting too excited over today's news.

Now what: Management expects to launch Esbriet in England and Wales by the end of June.

"The positive recommendation by NICE means that patients in England and Wales and their families living with IPF will now have access to the only approved treatment for this unpredictable and fatal lung disease," said Chairman and CEO Dan Welch. "This is an important step forward for patients, clinicians and the IPF community in England and Wales and we look forward to beginning the launch of Esbriet there this summer."

Of course, with late-stage U.S. trial data still about a year away, there might be plenty of better opportunities to buy into the stock.

Interested in more info on InterMune? Add it to your watchlist.

This article was originally published as Why InterMune Shares Poppedon Fool.com

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