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Vertex takes smaller 2nd-qtr loss as costs fall

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday it took a smaller loss in the second quarter as its costs decreased, and said its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco met its goal in a late-stage clinical trial.

Vertex reported a bigger loss a year ago after it took a hefty charge related to a sales reserve. The company said sales of its hepatitis C drug Incivek fell by more than half, but Kalydeco sales more than doubled. Vertex pared its overall sales forecast but said it expects greater sales of Kalydeco, and said it plans to file for broader marketing approval of the drug.

The stock rose $2.35, or 3 percent, to $82.01 in aftermarket trading.

The company said it lost $57.2 million, or 26 cents per share, in the most recent quarter. A year ago Vertex took a loss of $64.9 million, or 31 cents per share, while setting aside $78 million in case of excess Incivek inventory. Revenue fell 26 percent, to $310.8 million from $418.3 million.

Analysts were forecasting a loss of 18 cents per share and $308.8 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Vertex said Incivek revenue fell by 52 percent, to $155.8 million from $327.7 million. Kalydeco sales climbed to $99 million from $45.5 million. Royalty payments on overseas sales of Incivek rose to $44.1 million from $28 million.

Kalydeco was approved in January 2012 as a treatment for a rare form of the cystic fibrosis that affects just 1,200 people in the U.S., or 4 percent of the population with cystic fibrosis. The company says almost all eligible patients in the U.S. and European Union are being treated with Kalydeco. On Monday Vertex said the drug improved lung function in a separate, smaller group of patients with a different genetic profile. Vertex said there are about 400 such patients.

The company plans to file for expanded marketing approval in the U.S. and the EU during the second half of 2013.

Vertex said it now expects to report $1 billion to $1.2 billion in total revenue this year. The company had forecast $1.1 billion to $1.25 billion in revenue. Its new guidance includes $345 million to $360 million in revenue from Kalydeco, up from its previous estimate of $300 million to $340 million.

Analysts were calling for $1.2 billion in revenue, including $312 million from Kalydeco.

Shares of Vertex lost $1.05 to $79.66 during regular trading Monday. The stock is down 9 percent since Thursday's close. On Thursday Vertex said the Food and Drug Administration halted some testing of its experimental hepatitis C drug VX-135 because of concerns about its effects on the livers of patients.