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Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Swings to 1st-Quarter Loss on Write-Down

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) swung to a first-quarter loss as sales of its hepatitis C drug plummeted from a year earlier and the company wrote down the value of one of its pipeline drugs.The pharmaceutical company has now reported four straight quarters of losses amid slumping sales of hepatitis C treatment Incivek as patients and doctors await new therapies from Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and AbbVie Inc. (ABBV). U.S. sales of Incivek dropped 42.4% to $205.6 million.The company's cystic fibrosis franchise, however, has been a bright spot, with sales of its drug Kalydeco more than tripling to $61.8 million in the first-quarter. Strong uptake in international markets led the company to raise its full-year guidance for Kalydeco sales to a range of $300 million to $340 million, up $20 million from its previous projections.Sales growth of Kalydeco in the U.S., though, will require new regulatory approvals, as the majority of eligible patients are already receiving the drug. The comp...

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