Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) Shares Soar on Back of Positive Clinical Results


Following yesterday’s closing bell, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) announced positive Phase 3 results from two highly anticipated studies evaluating the tezacaftor and ivacaftor (Kalydeco) combo in cystic fibrosis.

Vertex shares reacted to the news, rising nearly 19% to $16.83.

Cory Kasimov, senior biotech analyst at J.P. Morgan, noted, “We find the data to be highly encouraging and are not surprised by the sharp after hours reaction given the number of investors that we believe were on the sidelines due to concern over perceived skewed risk/reward pre-data. With both efficacy and importantly safety exceeding expectations, we believe VRTX at a minimum now has a much improved Orkambi. Moreover this development could also potentially enhance investor confidence in the pending all-important triple data (expected in 2H). VRTX plans to submit an NDA and MAA in 3Q17. Bottom line, we believe these results solidify VRTX’s prevailing dominance in the CF space and add to the company’s strategic value.”

CMO Jeffrey Chodakewitz stated, “The tezacaftor/ivacaftor combination treatment demonstrated clinically meaningful benefits, with a favorable safety profile, across multiple patient groups […] This combination treatment may provide a promising new option for treating the underlying cause of CF in the future and brings us increasingly closer to our goal of developing new medicines for all people with the disease.”

Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on VRTX stock. Out of 14 analysts who cover the stock, 8 suggest a Buy rating and 6 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $93.75, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the business of discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases. It focuses on development and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis; infectious diseases, including viral infections, such as influenza, and bacterial infections; autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis; cancer, inflammatory bowel disease; and neurological disorders, including pain, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis. 

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