NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / July 2, 2018 / Acceleron Pharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals both saw big gains on Friday on separate positive catalysts last week. Acceleron and Celgene reported strong results for an anemia treatment they are partnered on while Vertex Pharmaceuticals soared as its competitor Galapagos reported dismal results for its cystic fibrosis treatment.
RDI Initiates Coverage on:
Acceleron Pharma Inc.
Acceleron Pharma Inc. shares closed up almost 43% on Friday with about 5.2 million shares traded. The stock hit a new high of $50 after the company and Celgene reported strong results for anemia treatment luspatercept that the companies have partnered on. It was last Thursday that the two companies said luspatercept met both its key goals in a study where luspatercept was tested versus a placebo in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Celgene Chief Medical Officer Jay Backstrom said in a written statement, "This result from the Phase 3 (study called) Medalist demonstrates the potential clinical benefit of luspatercept as an erythroid (a red blood cell) maturation agent for the treatment of chronic anemia in patients with low-to-intermediate risk myelodysplastic syndromes." According to Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges, the companies will likely get approval and will launch next year.
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated shares closed up around 15% on Friday with 6 million shares traded compared to average trading volume of just 1.6 million shares. The Boston-based pharmaceutical company saw gains after rival Galapagos NV had reported mediocre mid-stage results for its new cystic fibrosis drug that was below expectations. Galapagos' FEV-1 improvements for its cystic fibrosis drug came in at 3.4%. Analysts had been waiting for 5%. RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams remarked, Vertex, considered the leader in cystic fibrosis treatment, will remain the "dominant [cystic fibrosis] player for the foreseeable future." Raymond James analyst Laura Chico wrote, "The bar remains high. With Vertex already advancing into Phase 3 pivotal studies with their triple regimens, we see few competitors that will be able to challenge Vertex in the near/intermediate term."
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