A 22% increase in its net revenue was reported by US biotech Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) in its financial results for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016.
The $481 million total comes from the combined sales of just two products, both in cystic fibrosis (CF), and led the company to report net income, using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), of $248 million, where in 2016’s first quarter Vertex reported a $42 million loss.
GAAP earnings per share for the latest quarter were $0.99, and investors are clearly confident of further gains as Vertex’ share price rose by 2% in pre-market on Friday to close to $120.
Research and consulting firm GlobalData predicted in a recent report that Vertex would be at the center of the growth of the CF space across the seven major markets. The study suggested that this market’s value would more than triple in value from 2015’s $2.1 billion to around $7.6 billion by 2025 and noted that Vertex controlled the vitally important transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulator market share with its two marketed CFTR modulators, Orkambi (ivacaftor/lumacaftor) and Kalydeco (ivacaftor).
Orkambi sales for the quarter were $295 million, a 32% rise on a year ago, while Kalydeco revenue reached $186 million, a 9% increase.
Vertex has reiterated its 2017 guidance for Orkambi revenues of between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion but for Kalydeco the company has upped its predictions from a range of $690 million to $710 million to between $710 to $730 million. This increase has been attributed to one-time reimbursement adjustments recognized in the first quarter and the strong underlying demand.
Jeffrey Leiden, chief executive of Vertex, said in presenting the results: “During the quarter, our progress toward treating more people with CF was marked by several important milestones, including expanding the number of people being treated with our approved medicines and developing potential new medicines to treat all people with CF in the future.
“We saw continued uptake of Orkambi in eligible children aged 6 to 11 in the USA and completed a marketing authorization application submission for the same group of patients in Europe.
“Additionally, we reported positive data from two Phase III studies of the tezacaftor/ivacaftor combination, which we believe will bring us closer to treating more people with the disease. We remain focused on advancing key CF programs, including our triple combination regimens, to support our goal of providing treatments for all people with CF.”