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Vertex 1Q Loss Widens on Drug Development Expenses

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 4:48am
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Thursday said its first-quarter loss widened by nearly 60 percent as revenue fell and expenses for a drug in late-stage development spiked. For the quarter ended March 31, Vertex said it lost $161.5 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with a loss of $96.2 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for acquisition and restructuring-related expenses and other charges, the loss was $127.5 million, or 82 cents per share. Revenue fell 41 percent to $24.8 million, from $41.7 million, with most of the decline coming from collaborative and research and development revenue. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected the company to post a loss of 82 cents per share, on revenue of $32.3 million. Wall Street estimates typically exclude one-time charges and gains. Vertex said its expenses climbed 32 percent to $185.5 million, with increases in R&D, restructuring and acquisition related costs. The company is in the late stages of developing drugs for hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis. President Matt Emmens said the hepatitis C drug, telaprevir, is the company's top priority, and it hopes to file for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2010. Its cystic fibrosis drug is making progress, and the company expects to start a registration program for the next phase of testing in the U.S. and Europe this quarter. The company also said it expects a wider net loss for the year than previously expected.
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