- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that sales of its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco climbed 31 percent in the first quarter.

Vertex gets almost all of its revenue from Kalydeco, the first drug designed to treat the genetic cause of the disease. Kalydeco revenue rose to $130.2 million.

The Boston-based company pared its loss to $198.6 million, or 83 cents per share. Excluding one-time gains, Vertex said it lost 62 cents per share. Its total revenue grew 17 percent to $138.5 million. That was slightly less than Wall Street expected.

Analysts had forecast a loss of 75 cents per share on $139.9 million in revenue, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Cystic fibrosis causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs, leading to infections, digestive problems and death in young adults. There are around 30,000 patients in the U.S. Kalydeco was approved in 2012 as a treatment for only one rare type of the disease. In November 2014 the company filed for marketing approval of a newer drug designed to treat a more common form of cystic fibrosis, and the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to make a decision on that drug by July 5.

The newer compound combines Kalydeco with another Vertex chemical that hasn’t been approved yet, and Vertex said Wednesday that it wants to market that drug under the name Orkambi if it is approved.

Vertex said it still expects to report $560 million to $580 million in revenue from Kalydeco in 2015.

Its shares fell $2.75, or 2.2 percent, to $121.01 in aftermarket trading, extending its loss during regular trading. Vertex stock fell $1.71 to close at $123.76 on Wednesday. The stock is up 4.2 percent this year, compared to a 2.3 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Over the last year the stock has risen 83 percent.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (https://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on VRTX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/VRTX


Keywords: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Earnings Report

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