Macro Tsimmis

intelligently hedged investment

Vertex (VRTX) update #10

Posted by intelledgement on Mon, 31 Mar 08

It’s been a good few days for our biotech company, Vertex (VRTX), but today was particularly fine. VRTX’s share price moved up 28% to $23.89 today on volume of more than eight times normal after the company announced very encouraging preliminary results of an open label Phase 2 test of telaprevir, their anti-hepatitis C candidate drug. This trial focuses on patients who failed to respond to the current standard of care (SOC) treatment, which consists of 48 weeks of interferon plus ribaviron. After four weeks of treatment, 81% of the patients in the study exhibited no evidence of hepatitis C infection. Based on past experience, in the fullness of time, many of those patients can be expected to relapse, but nothing currently out there does better than curing 15% of patients who were not cured by the SOC (which are about half of those who take it). If telaprevir can cure even 30% of such patients, it is very likely to be approved by the FDA, possibly sooner than the completion of the Phase 3 trials for treatment naive patients in 2010.

It is this eventuality that drove the stock higher today.

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