Vertex Outlines Corporate Strategy and Defines Key 2013 Business
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated  (Nasdaq: VRTX) today outlined the company’s strategy and defined key 2013 business priorities to support continued growth and the creation of long-term shareholder value. Vertex’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss the company’s strategy and 2013 priorities as part of a live presentation at the 31st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Monday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. ET). The presentation will be webcast on Vertex’s website, www.vrtx.com .
“Since the approval of our first medicine less than two years ago, Vertex has undergone a rapid evolution that has positioned the company to move forward with a clear focus on using innovative science to develop transformative medicines for serious diseases in specialty markets,” said Dr. Leiden.
“In cystic fibrosis and hepatitis C, KALYDECO and INCIVEK are just the beginning of what we hope to provide to people with these diseases. In CF, multiple ongoing and planned studies of KALYDECO monotherapy and other combinations of our CF medicines in development aim to help many more people with this disease. In hepatitis C, we are focused on developing multiple all-oral regimens that could further improve treatment. In addition to our development programs, we continue to invest in research for future medicines, with a focus on serious diseases where we have significant scientific expertise and commercial capabilities.”
Entering 2013, Vertex’s key strategies and business priorities include:
1. Focusing investment on key development programs for:
2. Investing in innovative research programs to support development of additional specialty medicines for serious diseases
3. Maximizing revenues and cash flow from the appropriate use of INCIVEK® (telaprevir) and KALYDECO in the U.S. and Canada and from the growth of KALYDECO in Europe and other countries
4. Maintaining financial strength to support future growth and shareholder returns
In CF, Vertex is rapidly advancing multiple studies aimed at expanding the number of people who may benefit from our approved and investigational CF medicines, including ivacaftor monotherapy for people with certain mutations not evaluated in prior studies and a combination of VX-809 and ivacaftor in people with two copies of the F508del mutation. The company also is advancing its second-generation corrector research program, which may lead to further improvements in CF treatment in the coming years. Vertex today provided the following updates to its CF development program:
Vertex Receives First Two Breakthrough Therapy Designations from U.S. FDA
KALYDECO (ivacaftor) Reimbursement Progress in Europe
Ivacaftor Label-Expansion Studies
Combination of VX-809 and ivacaftor for People with Two Copies of the F508del Mutation
Combination of VX-661 and ivacaftor for People with Two Copies of the F508del Mutation
Research to Identify Additional CF Treatment Regimens
In hepatitis C, Vertex plans to initiate multiple studies of the nucleotide analogue VX-135 as part of 12-week all-oral combination treatment regimens. Vertex expects to generate data from these studies in the second half of 2013 to enable progression into pivotal development in 2014. The all-oral studies for VX-135 include:
VX-135 in Combination with Ribavirin
Collaborative Agreements for All-Oral Studies of VX-135
In mid-2012, Vertex initiated a Phase 2b study of VX-509, a selective JAK3 inhibitor, in people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study is ongoing, with data expected in the second half of 2013. Vertex believes there is a global opportunity for VX-509 to treat multiple autoimmune diseases. Vertex will evaluate collaborative opportunities that would enable the company to maximize the value of VX-509 by providing funding and capabilities to broaden and accelerate the company’s evaluation of VX-509 across multiple additional autoimmune diseases globally.
Financial Strength to Invest in Research Innovation and Development of New Medicines
Vertex plans to announce fourth quarter and full-year 2012 financial results, and 2013 financial guidance, in late January. The company expects total non-GAAP operating expenses (that exclude cost of revenues, stock-based compensation expense, and Alios expenses related to the collaboration with Vertex) for 2013 to be similar to 2012. We anticipate a reduction in our 2013 SG&A expenses compared to 2012. The company’s 2013 R&D expenses will primarily support:
Vertex creates new possibilities in medicine. Our team discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapies so people with serious diseases can lead better lives.
Vertex scientists and our collaborators are working on new medicines to cure or significantly advance the treatment of hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other life-threatening diseases.
Founded more than 20 years ago in Cambridge, Mass., we now have ongoing worldwide research programs and sites in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Today, Vertex has more than 2,000 employees around the world, and for three years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences.
Indication and Important Safety Information for KALYDECO (ivacaftor)
Ivacaftor (150mg tablets) is indicated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 6 years and older who have a G551D mutation in the CFTR gene.
Ivacaftor is not for use in people with CF due to other mutations in the CFTR gene. It is not effective in CF patients with two copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in the CFTR gene. The efficacy and safety of ivacaftor in children younger than 6 years of age have not been evaluated.
High liver enzymes (transaminases, ALT and AST) have been reported in patients receiving ivacaftor. It is recommended that ALT and AST be assessed prior to initiating ivacaftor, every 3 months during the first year of treatment, and annually thereafter. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be closely monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Dosing should be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST of greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal. Following resolution of transaminase elevations, consider the benefits and risks of resuming ivacaftor dosing. Moderate transaminase elevations are common in subjects with CF. Overall, the incidence and clinical features of transaminase elevations in clinical trials was similar between subjects in the ivacaftor and placebo treatment groups. In the subset of patients with a medical history of elevated transaminases, increased ALT or AST have been reported more frequently in patients receiving ivacaftor compared to placebo.
Use of ivacaftor with medicines that are strong CYP3A inducers such as the antibiotics rifampin and rifabutin; seizure medications (phenobarbital, carbamazepine, or phenytoin); and the herbal supplement St. John's Wort substantially decreases exposure of ivacaftor, which may diminish effectiveness. Therefore, co-administration is not recommended.
The dose of ivacaftor must be adjusted when concomitantly used with potent and moderate CYP3A inhibitors. The dose of ivacaftor must be adjusted when used in patients with moderate or severe hepatic disease.
Ivacaftor can cause serious adverse reactions including abdominal pain and high liver enzymes in the blood. The most common side effects associated with ivacaftor include headache; upper respiratory tract infection (the common cold), including sore throat, nasal or sinus congestion, and runny nose; stomach (abdominal) pain; diarrhea; rash; and dizziness. These are not all the possible side effects of ivacaftor. A list of the adverse reactions can be found in the full product labeling for each country where ivacaftor is approved. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about any side effect that bothers them or doesn't go away.
Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information for KALYDECO at www.KALYDECO.com , the EU Summary of Product Characteristics for KALYDECO at http://goo.gl/N3Tz4 , and the KALYDECO Canadian Product Monograph at www.vrtx.ca .
Indication and Important Safety Information for INCIVEK (telaprevir)
INCIVEK® (telaprevir) is a prescription medicine used with the medicines peginterferon alfa and ribavirin to treat chronic (lasting a long time) hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults with stable liver problems, who have not been treated before or who have failed previous treatment. It is not known if INCIVEK is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Important Safety Information
INCIVEK® (telaprevir) should always be used in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. INCIVEK combination treatment may cause serious side effects including skin rash and serious skin reactions, anemia (low red blood cell count) that can be severe, and birth defects or death of an unborn baby.
Skin rashes are common with INCIVEK combination treatment. Sometimes these skin rashes and other skin reactions can become serious, require treatment in a hospital, and may lead to death. Patients should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop any skin changes during treatment with INCIVEK. Their healthcare provider will decide if they need treatment or if they need to stop INCIVEK or any of their other medicines. Patients should not stop taking INCIVEK combination treatment without talking with their healthcare provider first.
Patients' healthcare providers will do blood tests regularly to check for anemia. If anemia is severe, the healthcare providers may tell them to stop taking INCIVEK.
INCIVEK combined with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. Therefore, a patient should not take INCIVEK combination treatment if she is pregnant or may become pregnant, or if he is a man with a sexual partner who is pregnant. Females who can become pregnant and females whose male partner takes these medicines must have a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment, every month during treatment, and for 6 months after treatment ends. Patients must use two forms of effective birth control during treatment and for 6 months after all treatment has ended. These two forms of birth control should not contain hormones, as these may not work during treatment with INCIVEK.
INCIVEK and other medicines can affect each other and can also cause side effects that can be serious or life-threatening. There are certain medicines patients cannot take with INCIVEK combination treatment. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about all the medicines they take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of INCIVEK combination treatment include itching, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anal or rectal problems (including hemorrhoids, discomfort, burning or itching around or near the anus), taste changes and tiredness. There are other possible side effects of INCIVEK, and side effects associated with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin also apply to INCIVEK combination treatment. Patients should tell their healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers them or doesn't go away.
Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning, and the Medication Guide for INCIVEK available at www.INCIVEK.com .
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, Dr. Leiden's statements in the second and third paragraphs of the press release, the information provided in the four numbered key strategies and business priorities for 2013 and statements regarding (i) Vertex rapidly advancing multiple studies aimed at expanding the number of people who may benefit from our approved and investigational CF medicines and Vertex’s CF research program; (ii) expectations regarding the submission of final protocols and the initiation of a pivotal Phase 3 program of VX-809 in combination with ivacaftor; (iii) the dependence of growth in KALYDECO revenues in 2013 on the completion of reimbursement discussions in countries outside the U.S. and the anticipation that reimbursement in England will begin in the second quarter of 2013; (iv) expectations regarding the timing and structure of all-oral studies of VX-135; (v) information regarding the company's ongoing and planned studies and the timing of the availability of data from these studies; (vi) the expectation that Vertex will generate data from studies of VX-135 in the second half of 2013 to enable progression into pivotal development in 2014; (vii) potential collaborative opportunities and (viii) expectations regarding 2013 non-GAAP operating expenses. While Vertex believes the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are accurate, there are a number of factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, among other things, that the company's expectations regarding future KALYDECO revenues and/or operating expenses may be incorrect, that the outcomes of Vertex's ongoing and planned clinical studies may not be favorable, that the initiation of planned studies and/or pivotal programs may be delayed or prevented, that collaborative arrangements may not be available on acceptable terms and other risks listed under Risk Factors in Vertex's annual report and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available through the company's website at www.vrtx.com . Vertex disclaims any obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.
VRTX – GEN