Last Update: 19-Apr-13 10:38 ET
The Healthcare sector (+0.68%) is trading higher today, outperforming the S&P 500
General Commentary: Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) is today's big winner, up over 60%. Yesterday, after the close, the company announced data from a Phase 2 study of VX-661 and ivacaftor that showed statistically significant improvements in lung function among adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have two copies (homozygous) of the most common mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, known as F508del. Patients in the 100 and 150 mg combination dose groups showed statistically significant mean relative improvements in lung function, versus placebo, of 9.0 percent (p=0.01) and 7.5 percent (p=0.02), respectively, at Day 28. In contrast, patients who received placebo showed a 0.03 percent mean relative change in lung function at Day 28 (within-group). The mean relative FEV1 across the combination dose groups returned toward baseline during the post-treatment 28-day washout period. Numerous analysts have raised price targets and upgraded the company on the news. Needham estimates that the worldwide commercial opportunity for Vertex in cystic fibrosis is up to $4 billion.
General Commentary: Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) is today's big winner, up over 60%. Yesterday, after the close, the company announced data from a