Category Archives: Bad for Schering Boceprivir Goog for Vertex Telaprevir

Vertex Common Stock: up 31 percent from Secondary Offering Price of $25.50, on September 18, 2008

Yesterday, VRTX rose about 16 percent on the day, now up another 6 percent this morning (Just for those keeping score at home, I had predicted a strong stock price effect for this data, about 20 days ago). I’d say that Teleprevir, the company’s next generation Hep C candidate, has hit each of its pre-market trials out of the park. See this update, of yesterday, for more on the results — the Vertex candidate outperformed the Schering candidate by a margin of more than two-to-one — 81 percent response v. 35 percent response. So, an outfit called JMP Securities (no relation to JP Morgan Chase, nor Pinnacle) has upgraded its outlook on Vertex — to “Outperform” — just this morning.

. . . .On Wednesday, the company said 85 percent of patients taking telaprevir twice a day with the drugs Pegasys and Ribavirin had undetectable levels of hepatitis C after four weeks, while 68 percent of those taking the drug with Peg-Intron and Ribavirin had undetectable levels. Taking the drug three times daily, the percentages were 82 percent for the Pegasys combination and 71 percent for the Peg-Intron combination, respectively. The midstage study involves 161 people. . . .

These are smaller study populations — but we’re seeing very-strong efficacy — no doubt. And so is Wall Street — with 2 to 3 million still-largely latent Hep C infections, in the US alone.

Once again, Goldman Sachs (lead banker for the $25.50 common stock offering of last week) look to be “the smartest guys in the room“. . . . the bank (and/or its clients) watched its holdings rise 31 percent in seven days. Warren Buffett was no fool to “stake” the Goldman firm a cool $5 billion this week, amid the market turmoil, either.