Macro Tsimmis

intelligently hedged investment

Vertex (VRTX) update

Posted by intelledgement on Wed, 25 Jul 07

Vertex (VRTX) announced their 2Q07 results today and as expected, they continued to spend money a lot faster than it is coming in, a condition expected to persist until 2010 at least (by which time we hope telaprevir will be approved by the FDA and Vertex can start paying their own electric bills).

But the big news was an update on the PROVE 1 phase 2 results for telaprevir. A followup test for a group of patients who completed a 12-week course of telaprevir-interferon-ribavirin followed by a 12-week course of interferon-ribavirin—a total course of treatment of 24 weeks compared with the current standard of care (SOC) treatment of 48 weeks of interferon-ribavirin—to check their viral levels. “Among the patients who completed 24 weeks of therapy and had undetectable HCV RNA (less than 10 IU/mL) at the end of treatment, fewer than 10 percent had relapsed by the end of 12 weeks post-treatment follow-up,” according to the press release.

Obviously this is not conclusive—just preliminary data and additional followups will be required to confirm these results—but it does suggest that telaprevir has the potential of dramatically shortening the current (debilitating) SOC course of treatment, with potentially superior results.

Anyway, The Street liked the report with VRTX up 11% today on triple the normal volume. 🙂


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