Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) is trading up so much higher that you might think the company is being acquired. The real reason for the huge share gains is based upon results of a Phase II cystic Fibrosis study.
It was the interim data from its Phase 2 combination study of VX-809 and KALYDECO showed ‘significant’ improvements in lung function in people with cystic fibrosis who have two copies of the F508del mutation.
A planned interim analysis was conducted after approximately half of the study patients had completed 56 days of treatment. The current results are based on data from 37 homozygous F508del patients who completed treatment in the 56-day study and it also included 11 patients with one or two copies of the F508del mutation who received placebo.
Vertex showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in lung function across the combined treatment groups relative to baseline compared to placebo. Of those who received VX-809 and KALYDECO, approximately 46% or 17/37 experienced an absolute improvement from baseline to Day 56 in lung function of 5 percentage points or more. What is more interesting is that approximately 30 percent or 11/37 experienced an absolute improvement from baseline to Day 56 of 10 percentage points or more.
None of the 11 patients treated with placebo achieved a 5-percentage point or more improvement from baseline to Day 56 in lung function.
Vertex has already seen its shares up almost 60% at $59.70 or so on more than 3.6 million shares that already eclipses the average daily volume of about 2.4 million shares. It cannot go without saying but the market cap before today’s news was almost $7.9 billion. That implies that billions of dollars of value are being derived from the news.
JON C. OGG