How Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Drugs Performed in 1Q18


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 5:07 p.m. ET

Orkambi’s and Kalydeco’s revenue trends

In 1Q18, Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ (VRTX) Orkambi revenue rose ~20% YoY (year-over-year) to $354 million from $295 million. It fell 3% QoQ (quarter-over-quarter).

In January 2018, the European Commission approved Orkambi as a first-line CF (cystic fibrosis) treatment. This label expansion boosted Orkambi’s revenue growth in 1Q18. To learn more about the drug, read How Did Orkambi Perform in 4Q17 and 2017?

In 1Q18, Vertex’s Kalydeco revenue rose ~34% YoY to $250 million from $186 million. It fell 2% QoQ. The drug’s 2017 label expansion and increased market penetration have boosted its revenue growth in 2018.

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Symdeko approval and revenue

In February 2018, the FDA approved Vertex’s Symdeko for the treatment of CF in patients over 12 years old with a dual F508del-CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) mutation. In 1Q18, Symdeko generated revenue of $34 million. 

Vertex has already filed its marketing authorization application with the European Medicines Agency and expects approval by the European Commission in 2H18. ProQR Therapeutics’ (PRQR) QR-010 and Proteostasis Therapeutics’ (PTI) PTI-428 are some notable investigational CFTR potentiators.

Recent updates on CF clinical trials

In March, Vertex initiated a Phase 3 trial of VX-659, an investigational triple combination regimen of tezacaftor and ivacaftor, in the treatment of CF in individuals with a dual F508del-CFTR mutation.

Vertex saw success in a preceding Phase 2 trial, in which the triple combination regimen demonstrated mean absolute progress from the baseline over four weeks, in addition to tolerability and safety. Success in the Phase 3 trial could strengthen Vertex’s product portfolio and boost sales growth. Some important products in the CF drug market include Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) Cayston, Roche’s (RHHBY) Pulmozyme, and Novartis’s (NVS) Tobi.


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