Category Archives: Schering Boceprivir Vertex Telaprevir Morgan Stanley Un

Webcast Update on Vertex’s Hep C Candidate This Morning


UPDATED — 09.24.08 @3 PM EDT

Vertex’s Candidate, Teleaprevir, is
Twice as Effective as Schering’s Candidate
for Next-Gen Hep C Treatment, All
in a Short-Duration Phase III Trial!


Or, “Goodbye, Mr. Spalding!”. . . .

Vertex has press released very important new top-line results (Abstract) this morning, at the UBS web-conference (webcast link, below — you’ll need to provide an email address, but it is otherwise free of charge). Vertex common stock rose 17 percent this afternoon, on huge volumes. And this, after issuing lots of dilutive common shares last week. Wow.

It would seem that teleprevir is proving efficacious in Hep C patients whose disease has previously failed other treatments, per the interim data. This is a significant advantage over the Schering candidate, boceprivir, a drug that cannot point to any data that is nearly as encouraging as this — twice daily dosing showed no detectible virus in 82 percent of patients! This compares to 35 percent rates for Schering’s boceprivir. Two more dot points:

41 percent chance of cure in a six-month regimen; 50 percent chance of cure in a 12 month regimen, in prior treatment failure patients.

That is amazing. Truly.


Vertex has completed the main tranche of its previously-SEC-registered common stock offering, and today announced that the underwriters had exercised a so-called “Green Shoe” (or more technically, “over-allotment“) option — purchasing additional shares, due to excess demand for the securities.

On Wednesday, Vertex will update the world on itself at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference on Wednesday — a link to that webcast, is here.

From today’s press release:

. . . .the underwriter has exercised in full its option to purchase 1,125,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $25.50 per share. The exercise of the option brings the total shares of common stock to be sold by Vertex in the offering to 8,625,000 shares. Vertex expects to receive gross proceeds from the offering, before commissions and expenses, of approximately $220 million.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as the sole book-runner for the offering. . . .

We should learn much more about the length of the lead of Vertex’s Hep C candidate, Teleprevir, over Schering’s rival Hep C candidate, on the above-webcast. Do tune in.