Strong JP Morgan conference presentation by Dr. Leiden
Just listened to the replay of today's presentation. Very well done by Dr. Leiden. . VX;787 appears to still be viable to treat Influenza, (he mentioned it several times, appearing on slides 17 and 18,) is likely to be licensed, along with the 'global' development of VX 509 in multiple autoimmune diseases. Clearly Vertex mangement is focusing on spending it's resources on developing CF and second generation hep C given the high value, and relatively small marketing team needed to sell it. The strategy of partnering/licensing 509 and 787 to allow rapid development and optimal return on investment, (given the limits of what the company is able to self fund presently),makes more sense based on expected return on investment for these assets, and the need to expedite their development and get them to market with partners who have an infrastructure in place to sell these products to a much greater number of prescribers worldwide than is needed for the the smaller specialty markets for CF and hep C. As drugs get approved and revenues and earnings grow one can expect advancement of earlier pipeline assests in CF, Huntington's disease, chronic MS and cancer. Phase 3 expanded label monotherapy data with Kalydeco and Phase 2 VX 509 data will be out in the second half of this year. Phase 2 VX 661/Kalydeco data and VX 787 data is mentioned in slide 18 as being slated to be released in the first half of the year. It's going to be an exciting year with the "breakthrough drug designation given by the FDA to VX 809 and Kalydeco likely to mean earlier than expected approval and sales of these two assets once they show efficacy and safety in the majority of the CF population by 2014.
Leiden on VX-787 in an interview:
The company will look for outside funding for the flu molecule VX-787. “It’s not a specialty disease,” Leiden said. “We’re going to find external funding” for that molecule, and stop funding it internally, he said.