Thursday, June 28, 2012

Latest Drug Trial Data Pounds Vertex Pharma (Nasdaq: VRTX) Shares

Latest Drug Trial Data Pounds Vertex Pharma (Nasdaq: VRTX) SharesShawshank, VA 6/28/12 (StreetBeat) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX) tumbled more than 10% in heavy trading early Thursday after the company reported positive trials results that were nonetheless not quite what investors were hoping for.

The company reported data on a phase-two study of cystic fibrosis patients taking Vertex's Kalydeco along with experimental drug candidate VX-809. The study found a 6.7% improvement in lung function after 56 days of treatment, slightly better than what Wall Street expected, according to ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum. But he added that the results were only for the highest-dose group, whereas investors had been hoping for pooled data of all groups. Also, the responder data was not strictly comparable with the previously released interim data on the study.

"Thus, although the 'responder data' LOOK BETTER in the final analysis at the high dose than in the interim data, we would advise caution on over-interpreting this comparison," Schoenebaum wrote in a email to clients.

Investors seemed to take this heart, perhaps because they'd been burned before. In May the stock soared on strong data from the same trial, only to fall again when the companyrestated its results due to a statistical error.

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