Vertex Pharmaceuticals (MA) (VRTX) Vows to Fight on With Alios BioPharma Drugs in High-Stakes Hepatitis C Race
1/24/2012 7:24:04 AM
Vertex Pharmaceuticals went from king of the hill in the treatment of hepatitis C to yesterday’s news in about six wild months. But while many on Wall Street say Vertex’s big drug will soon become obsolete, Vertex and its small partner in South San Francisco have quietly put themselves in position to defend a big share of this future multi-billion dollar market. Cambridge, MA-based Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX), which has significant operations in San Diego, is running a series of small clinical trials this year that will mix and match combinations of antiviral medicines against hepatitis C. These trials will help determine whether Vertex and its partner, South San Francisco-based Alios Biopharma, have hit upon a combination of drugs that can raise the cure rate, and reduce side effects, for millions of patients with this liver-damaging virus.