Back to top

Analyst Blog

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX - Snapshot Report) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Analyst Report) recently entered into a non-exclusive agreement for the phase II development of once-daily all-oral treatment regimens combining Vertex Pharma’s VX-135 and Bristol-Myers’ daclatasvir for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.

Terms of the Deal

The companies said that Vertex Pharma would conduct two phase II studies with the combination. This includes an initial study that will be initiated in the second quarter of 2013 in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 1 HCV infection.

Once data from this study is available, Vertex Pharma will commence a study, potentially in the second half of the year, in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 1, 2 or 3 HCV infection, including patients with cirrhosis. The studies will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and viral cure rates (SVR4 and SVR12) of several all-oral regimens of VX-135 plus daclatasvir dosed once daily.

Co-formulation activities will also be conducted by Vertex Pharma so as to explore the possibility of developing a once-daily fixed-dose combination regimen.

Our Take

We are positive on this deal which reflects the commitment of both companies towards developing new therapies for HCV. The HCV market represents immense commercial potential with more than 170 million HCV patients across the world.

Vertex Pharma has a strong presence in the HCV market – in addition to marketing Incivek, the company is working on improving treatment options for HCV patients. Incivek, which was launched in 2011, had initially seen strong sales. However, sales have been declining as patients await better treatments.

Vertex Pharma has non-exclusive deals for VX-135 with other companies as well including Janssen and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Analyst Report). Another HCV candidate in Vertex Pharma’s pipeline is VX-222.

Meanwhile, Bristol-Myers is also looking to build a presence in the HCV market. In addition to daclatasvir (phase III), Bristol-Myers’ HCV pipeline includes peginterferon lambda (phase III) and asunaprevir (phase III).

Currently, both Vertex Pharma and Bristol-Myers are Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks. Biogen (BIIB - Analyst Report) looks more attractive at present with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
DIXIE GRP IN DXYN 15.84 +7.90%
BOFI HLDG IN BOFI 85.30 +4.97%
RAMBUS INC RMBS 12.31 +4.41%
VIPSHOP HOLD VIPS 148.73 +4.35%
NETFLIX INC NFLX 345.74 +4.32%