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Vertex Pharmaceuticals (MA) (VRTX) Shares Rise on Hep C Drug Sales Tracking Snafu



10/13/2011 2:00:50 PM

By Julie M. Donnelly, Reporter - Boston Business Journal

Shares in Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) rose 9 percent Thursday afternoon, after pharmaceutical market tracker IMS Health .IMS Health Latest from The Business Journals Ora Clinical has room to grow advancing allergy treatmentsPPD names new CEO Mylan sued over migraine medicine Follow this company .disclosed that it had inadvertently low-balled previous estimates on sales of Incivek, Vertex’s hepatitis C therapy. The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company’s shares have been on a roller coaster this week, dropping 8 percent on Monday after a rival revealed it was expanding a late-stage clinical trial for a competing drug.

Norwalk, Conn.-based IMS Health reportedly sent an email to subscribers Wednesday evening explaining that IMS was missing a portion of the mail-order prescription data for Incivek, used in its most recent estimates. Actual sales figures, the industry tracker said, were likely to be significantly higher.

Vertex will put an end to the mystery over the uptake of the drug, which was approved in May, when it releases quarterly earnings later this month. Vertex is in a pitched battle for market share with Merck and Co. (NYSE: MRK), whose Victrelis hepatitis C therapy was approved one week before Incivek.

Vertex shares were trading at $43.76 on Thursday afternoon, up from $40.24 at the previous close.




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