Investors disappointed in Vertex despite strong data

Vertex shares sank on Friday after the company reported that its closely-watched hepatitis C drug telaprevir eradicated the virus in more than 60 percent of patients. Standard therapies on the market have a success rate of 50 percent or less, making telaprevir a clear favorite. But Vertex has been the subject of considerable speculation, with some analysts looking for efficacy rates of around 70 percent for the hepatitis C drug. With plenty of competition in the field, investors took a look at what most biotechs would consider a clear winner and sent shares down about nine percent.

The money men on Wall Street appeared to be particularly concerned by dropout rates of 18 percent and 12 percent in the Phase IIb studies and a lack of data from the control arm, which dosed patients with a combination of pegylated-interferon and the antiviral drug ribavirin.

- see this release
- check out the AP report on telaprevir