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Vertex reports net profits of $2.69bn in Q1 2024

Vertex reports net profits of $2.69bn in Q1 2024

Vertex has reported that its net revenues grew to $2.69bn in Q1 2024, displaying a 13% increase from earnings reported in the first quarter of last year.

As per a 6 May press announcement, the company attributed the increase in revenue to strong market performance in ex-US markets, reporting $1.17bn in profits outside the US and $1.52bn in profits in the US, a 21% and 8% increase, respectively. Vertex also reported an increase in product revenue guidance from $10.55bn to $10.75bn, which aligns with the company’s expectations of continued growth in the cystic fibrosis (CF) market, as well as the launch of its gene therapy Casgevy (exagamglogene autotemcel).

Key performers included the CF drug Trikafta / Kaftrio (elexacaftor / tezacaftor / ivacaftor), which was first granted US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2019. Trikafta is an oral medication designed to promote the quantity and function of the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein at the cell surface. The drug was approved for expanded use to treat children aged between two and five years with CF carrying certain mutations in April 2023. The drug earned $1.52bn in revenues in Q1.

Another major therapy under Vertex is Casgevy, which was jointly developed with the biotech CRISPR Therapeutics. The gene therapy became the first CRISPR-based gene therapy for sickle cell anaemia when the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted conditional approval in November 2023. More recently, Casgevy gained its second FDA approval to treat genetic disease transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia in patients aged 12 years and above, after also being indicated for treating sickle cell disease. The company has activated 25 treatment centres equipped to administer the therapy, as of mid-April.

According to GlobalData’s consensus forecast, Trikafta is expected to generate global sales of $10.5bn in 2027 while Casgevy is expected to generate $915m in global sales. GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Vertex reported a decrease in combined GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] and non-GAAP R&D expenses from $1.3bn to $1.2bn and decreased acquired IPR&D and SG&A expenses. This was attributed to lower acquired IPR&D expenses that were “partially offset” by ongoing and new investments to support programs that are now in the mid-late stages of clinical development.

The Boston, Massachusetts-based company also shared an increase in its cash runway. As of 31 March, Vertex’s cash, cash equivalents, and total marketable securities were $14.6bn compared to the $13.7bn reported as of 31 December 2023.

Last month, Vertex hopped on the immunotherapy bandwagon with its $4.9bn purchase of Alpine Immune Science. In acquiring the biotech, Vertex will gain an extensive pipeline, which includes Alpine’s lead asset, povetacicept, a Phase III-ready candidate for IgA nephropathy.

May 13, 2024

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