Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vertex's Incivek®: "best launch of all time in. . . biotech/pharma!"

Well, Vertex has posted its first quarterly profit in company history, due to ferocious uptake in the next-gen Hep C drug triple therapy regimen spear-headed by Vertex's telaprevir (branded as Incivek®) -- thus, per Reuters, just now:

. . . .Vertex. . . reported its first ever quarterly profit and said that its Incivek hepatitis C treatment had sales of nearly $420 million in the first full quarter on the market, making for one of the most impressive new drug launches in history.

Incivek, which was approved in May, is on track to easily surpass $1 billion in sales in its first year on the market.

"It looks like it's the best launch of all time in the history of biotech and pharma," said ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum.

Vertex's first commercial product is fast becoming part of the standard of care for the serious liver disease as it competes with a similar new medicine from Merck that also received U.S. approval in May. . . .

Vertex sales beat even the loftiest analysts' projections this quarter. Let's see if Merck's Victrelis® will project reaching $1 billion in sales in 2011, come tomorrow morning. Hint: Not likely.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your blog and the efforts put forth in it. What is your story? Why do you have such a bias against Schering Plough (now new Merck)? Are you a former disgruntled employee? Just curious.

Condor said...

I am no former employee -- of either company.

I actually think Merck is a very solidly run company. Must of its woes are the result of overpaying for Schering-Plough -- or, said another way -- being fleeded by Fred Hassan.

Clearly, Merck is accountable for at least some of that unwarranted, and willing credulity.

I have been on the other side of deals with Hassan-led teams, and thus -- if prior experiences constitute "bias against" him. . . then I'll admit to that "bias".

I greatly appreciate your feedback, and encourage you to look closely at the nearly 3,000 posts here -- over three and a half years now.

You'll find that I am generally favorable about New Merck and its management (excluding the obvious scar tissue and warts it inherited when it bought SGP) -- though more than occasionally, I do get a kick out of some of Merck's less PR savvy moves. In that category, I'd place the Whitehouse Station "sewer water capacity campout" -- of 23 years.

It is immaterial to Merck's future financial results, but is reflective of a common affliction in large businesses. And, we all know that big pharma is having a rough go of it, of late, given the whole industry's inability to find answers for the patent cliff.

Do stop back. Later today, we'll know how Merck did in Q3 2011.


Anonymous said...

..."most of its woes are the result for overpaying for Schering-Plough"....

Funny you bring that up. Ken Frasier has said publicly, on several occasions, that the 'reverse merger' NEVER would have happened if not for the failure of the ENHANCE study. He also concluded that management has learned a lot from the experience and he would expect a much less dramatic reaction to any kind of news like that again...