After the kind of beating Vertex stock took, it is going to take a lot of positive news to bring the pps up in a significant way. Fortunately, there could be good news coming for Vertex over the next several months: results of trials of Incivek/VX222/ribavirin, Q4 revenues/earnings, approval of Kalydeco in April, results of phase I Alios nucs. Hopefully, these will all be positive news events.
The most important interim data in the first 6 months of 2012 may be the Phase 2 CF combination study with VX 809 and 770. which if positive, would open the door to a revenue stream for Vertex that could exceed the potential of hepatitis C over the next ten to 15 years for Vertex.
I agree, the data from the 4 week + 4 week trial of VX 809 and Kalydeco could be the most important news for Vertex in the 1st half of 2012. Earlier data from the 2 week + 1 week trial was impressive so it is possible the results could be spectacular. And if Vertex succeeds with this combination therapy, the treatable CF population with at least one copy of the F508del mutation represents 90% of the total CF patients. Also, unlike HCV treatment which results in a cure with no need for further antiviral medication, the CF patients that respond to the new Vertex meds will need to take these drugs (or improved versions) for the rest of their lives. Unlike the race to create new and better HCV drugs, Vertex seems to be far ahead of the competition in CF drug development. After the New England Journal of Medicine reported recently on the phase III results of Kalydeco in G551D CF patients, the game changing nature of this new approach, which actually targets the underlying cause of CF, was noted in news coverage by CNN, CBS, ABC and the Los Angeles Times. This achievement received wide recognition despite the fact that Kalydeco alone can only treat about 4% of the CF population or about 1000 patients in the U.S. It is surprising to me that investors have not recognized Vertex in the same way as the mainstream media has for its CF drugs. I think if Vertex was a newer and smaller market cap company there would be incredible investor interest because of the possibility of 10, 20 or even 30 fold returns based the CF drugs alone. However, Vertex is an older established biotech company with a $6 billion market cap and I believe many investors in the biotech sector just cannot get excited about a potential double or triple in the stock price over a 2 to 3 year time frame.