Good start for Incivek
Vertex HCV drug Incivek beats initial Street expectations, Merck's Victrelis
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) ticked down all last week in the run-up to its earnings day. But the stock regained all the lost ground and more after the first sales numbers for HCV drug Incivek telaprevir showed that it beat both Merck & Co. Inc.'s Victrelis boceprevir and analyst expectations.
After sinking $3 to $47.98 in the four days prior toThursday's postmarket earnings announcement, Vertex jumped $3.88 on Friday to close the week up $0.88 at $51.86.
Both HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitors were approved in the U.S. - and launched within days of one another in May - to treat chronic HCV genotype 1 infection in combination with standard of care (peginterferon alfa and ribavarin).
Vertex reported $74.5 million in sales of Incivek, half from stocking and half to end user sales. The Incivek sales numbers beat analyst estimates for end user sales, which ranged from $31-$35 million.
Merck (NYSE:MRK) said Victrelis posted $21 million in sales for the quarter.
Analyst notes following the earnings announcements estimated that Incivek has captured 75-80% of the market.
Earlier in the week, Vertex reported data from the open-label Phase II ZENITH trial that evaluated a four-drug regimen consisting of peginterferon alfa-2a, ribavirin, Incivek and 400 or 100 mg VX-222, the company's non-nucleoside HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor.
Results showed that 50% of patients (15/30) receiving the regimen including 400 mg VX-222 were eligible to stop all treatment at week 12, and 93% (14/15) of these patients had undetectable viral loads 12 weeks after treatment ended. The 100 mg VX-222 arm had an 82% SVR rate.
Vertex is enrolling two additional arms evaluating 400 mg VX-222 given twice daily plus Incivek and ribavirin, with data expected in 1H12.
|Company||2Q11 EPS est||2Q11 EPS actual||Outcome||Growth from 2Q10||7/29 cls||Wk chg||% chg||Mcap chg||7/29 Mcap|
|Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)||$1.28||$1.37||Beat by $0.09||-1%||$54.70||-$0.52||-1%||-$486.2||$51,144.5|
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