Vertex Pharma (VRTX): Focus on Cystic Fibrosis - Leerink
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Leerink Partners analyst, Geoffrey Porges, reiterated his Outperform rating on shares of Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) noting that the near-term catalysts are dominated by VRTX second generation CF combination regimen of Vx-661/Ivacaftor, which the analyst regards as a $1.1bn incremental opportunity across four CF patient groups.
The company is running four phase 3 studies aimed at testing Vx-661/Ivacaftor in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients stratified by mutational status. Data from these studies are expected to read out in the first half of next year. However, an interim futility analysis is currently underway in the het/min phase 3 study that represents the biggest opportunity, and also the biggest challenge to Vertex; we expect this interim read out this quarter (3Q16) and, consistent with the company’s commentary, see only a low probability of success for this trial (although the analysis is likely to lead to a continuation of the trial).
No change to the price target of $113.
Shares of Vertex closed at $101.53 yesterday.
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