Vertex Shares Surge To 5-Year High On Drug Study Success


Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares are up 15% today on news that its drug, VX-770, can improve lung function for cystic fibrosis patients after trial studies.

The Massachusetts-based drug producer has not seen a one-day surge like this since 2006.

  • Analysts estimate if VX-770 is approved it could have sales of more than $500 million.
  • The late-stage trial for VX-770 corrected a genetic defect that triggers Cystic-Fibrosis. It can improve lung function by 10.6% for patients.
  • The number of cystic fibrosis patients with the genetic mutation who could benefit from VX-770 is considered small at 4% to 7% but because the results of the trials were so successful and sales potential is high, some analysts are considering this to be a game-changer.
  • However, the stock still faces steep competition from Achillon Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer in the Hepatitis C Virus space, said a JPMorgan analyst in a note this morning. “Reiterate neutral rating. While we have high expectations for VX-770 in the STRIVE trial, this is not enough to change our thesis on Vertex,” wrote an analyst.

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