November 27, 2018 / 5:52 PM / 17 days ago

Vertex posts positive data from cystic fibrosis triple combo trials

(Reuters) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday that its triple combination therapy showed significant improvement in lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) in two late-stage clinical studies, sending its shares up 5 percent.

The company said the combination regimen, comprising its experimental agent VX-659 and its other CF drugs Kalydeco and tezacaftor, showed a 10 percentage point improvement in lung function in patients compared to those treated with placebo and the other two drugs.

Wall Street analysts lauded the results, and said the drug regimen could improve the standard of life for some cystic fibrosis patients.

“In the current market environment investors felt there was a high bar to impress,” said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee. “Today, Vertex met or exceeded that high bar and matched the high-end of efficacy expectations,” he added.

CF is a chronic, progressive, and frequently fatal genetic disease, primarily affecting the respiratory and digestive systems in children and young adults.

Vertex already has three products on the market for the life-shortening lung disorder, and the latest data further raises the bar for rivals such as Proteostasis Therapeutics and Galapagos NV who are developing CF drugs.

Vertex rose 5 percent to $175.79 on Tuesday.

Proteostasis Therapeutics slipped 8.93 percent and Galapagos 2.88 percent on Tuesday.

This story corrects syntax in first paragraph

Reporting by Manogna Maddipatla and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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