Macro Tsimmis

intelligently hedged investment

Vertex (VRTX) update #25

Posted by intelledgement on Tue, 03 Mar 09

Another month, another ten million shares of dilution. This time, however, shareholders are actually getting something tangible: two new drugs!

Our development stage biotech company, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), today announced an agreement to acquire privately-held ViroChem Pharma Inc. in a stock and cash transaction: ViroChem shareholders will receive $100 million in cash and between 9.9 million and 11 million shares of VRTX, depending on the average share price prior to the close of the deal. Vertex gets worldwide rights to ViroChem’s HCV drug development portfolio, including VCH-222 and VCH-759, “which have demonstrated substantial reductions in plasma HCV RNA when dosed as single agents and have been well-tolerated in clinical studies to date,” according to today’s press release.

Vertex expects to begin testing combinations of their own HCV protease inhibitor, telaprevir, with the ViroChem drugs in the second half of 2009…some of these will be conducted in conjunction with the current standard of care (SOC) regimen—pegylated interferon and ribavirin—and some without, raising the prospect that Vertex may eventually be able to offer shorter, less odious Hepatitis C treatments that totally replace the current SOC, which debilitates most patients for a year and then only works for about half of them.

Previous VRTX-related posts:

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