Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX)

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

July 28, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Ian Smith - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Michael Partridge - Senior Director of Strategic Communications

Robert Kauffman -

Nancy Wysenski - Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President

Peter Mueller - Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President of Global Research & Development and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Matthew Emmens - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President


Terence Flynn - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

David Friedman

Jason Kantor - RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Geoffrey Porges - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc.

Brian Abrahams - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Edward Tenthoff - Piper Jaffray Companies

Thomas Russo - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

Yaron Werber - Citigroup Inc

Howard Liang - Leerink Swann LLC

Mark Schoenebaum - ISI Group Inc.

Y. Katherine Xu - William Blair & Company L.L.C.

Philip Nadeau - Cowen and Company, LLC

Rachel McMinn - BofA Merrill Lynch

Geoffrey Meacham - JP Morgan Chase & Co



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to your Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] And as a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. And now, I would like to introduce your host for today, Michael Partridge.

Michael Partridge

Thank you. Good evening, and welcome to Vertex' second quarter 2011 conference call. We are 2 months into the launch of INCIVEK combination treatment for people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. We are tremendously pleased with the uptake of this medicine, as well as the positive feedback from the hepatitis C community. At the same time, we are launching INCIVEK, we continue to advance our pipeline. We expect to submit the NDA and MAA for VX-770 targeting cystic fibrosis patients with the G551D mutation in October. We have recently provided new data from combination approaches for hepatitis C and CF and we are now looking forward to data and presentations from other studies in hepatitis C, CF and rheumatoid arthritis in the second half of this year. We aim to establish additional product opportunities in these serious diseases. We remain financially strong, with a cash position of approximately $600 million at the end of the second quarter, this is sufficient to support continued launch activities of INCIVEK and the development of our clinical stage programs while supporting us through to cash flow positive.

With me on the call tonight are Matt Emmens, who will provide a perspective on Vertex' recent progress; Ian Smith, who will review our second quarter financial results; Nancy Wysenski, who will provide commentary on the INCIVEK launch; and Dr. Peter Mueller, who will highlight key upcoming pipeline milestones. After the prepared remarks, we will be joined by Dr. Bob Kauffman and we will be happy to take your questions. We will conclude the call tonight promptly at 6:00 p.m. Once the call concludes, our IR team, joined by Ian and Nancy will be in the office to answer any additional questions.

Finally, let me note that information discussed on this conference call includes forward-looking statements, which are subject to the risks and uncertainties discussed in detail in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our 10-K. These statements, including those regarding the market launch of INCIVEK, are based on management's current assumptions and are subject to risk and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and events to differ materially.

GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures will be discussed on this call. Information regarding our use of non-GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of those measures to GAAP is available in our second quarter 2011 financial press release, which is on our website.

Thank you, and I will now turn the call over to Matt.

Matthew Emmens

Thank you, Michael, and good evening, everyone. Since the company went public in 1991, we have begun nearly all quarterly calls by talking about pipeline progress and clinical data. This quarter, we are very excited to lead off, instead, with commentary about our efforts to bring INCIVEK combination treatment to the many people with hepatitis C. As you know, today is World Hepatitis Day. It's a day focused on raising awareness of viral hepatitis and bringing hope to millions of people affected by this disease. It's fitting on a day like today for me to be able to tell you that we are now delivering on the vision that a handful of scientists had more than 20 years ago. We have an approved medicine available for people with hepatitis C that was developed here at Vertex. I'm proud of what we've accomplished and humbled to think about what it means for patients. We believe INCIVEK represents both near-term and long-term value for the company and its shareholders. INCIVEK is establishing a base, upon which, we can grow the company, retain and attract the brightest people to work with us across the organization and potentially develop more new breakthrough medicines that cure or dramatically improve the treatment of serious diseases.

Now back to the launch of INCIVEK. Approval of this medicine enables our commercial and medical affairs teams to reach out to providers and patients who have waited years for improved hepatitis C treatment. We're hearing a great deal of positive comments from patients, nurse practitioners and physicians about what INCIVEK offers them. In particular, the ability to offer a straightforward, short-course therapy, 24 weeks, for the majority of treatment-naïve patients, with significantly higher viral cure rates compared to pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone.

Early in the launch, we are seeing both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients being started on INCIVEK combination therapy. This is an encouraging sign. We believe it highlights a broad awareness and acceptance of this important new medicine. To that point, I would like to acknowledge all of our employees, but in particular, the cross-functional efforts of our commercial team. This group continues to work incredibly hard to educate physicians, patients and payers on INCIVEK. And the feedback has been positive as measured by the volume of reported prescription in just the first couple of months of launch. A further testament to our preparedness and ability to deliver INCIVEK to people with hepatitis C was our ability to fulfill co-payment and financial assistance program for those who qualified in many cases within days of their request.

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