Vertex Focuses Investment on Future Opportunities in Cystic Fibrosis and
Other Key Research and Development Programs and Reduces Workforce Related to
-Changes result from the continued and rapid decline in the number of people
being treated with INCIVEK as new hepatitis C medicines near approval-
-370 positions, including 175 in Massachusetts, to be eliminated, primarily
related to support of INCIVEK-
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- October 29, 2013
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the company
will focus its investment on future opportunities in cystic fibrosis and other
high-potential research and development programs and is reducing its workforce
related to the support of INCIVEK following the continued and rapid decline in
the number of people being treated with INCIVEK as other new medicines for
hepatitis C near approval. The company is eliminating 370 positions, primarily
related to the support of INCIVEK, representing approximately a 15 percent
reduction in the company’s global workforce. Approximately 175 positions are
being eliminated in Massachusetts. The company anticipates a $150 million to
$200 million reduction in 2014 operating expenses compared to 2013.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to further transform the treatment of cystic
fibrosis and advance our other promising research and development programs,”
commented Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Vertex.
“As new medicines for hepatitis C near approval, fewer people are starting
treatment with INCIVEK, and as a result, we are reducing our workforce
supporting this medicine. Today is a difficult day for everyone at Vertex, but
these changes are necessary as we work to develop new breakthrough medicines
in the coming years,” concluded Dr. Leiden.
Following the changes, Vertex expects to have approximately 1,800 employees
worldwide, including approximately 1,300 in Massachusetts. All employees
affected by the restructuring are being offered outplacement services as well
as a comprehensive severance package based on their length of employment with
The company provided additional financial information, including updated
financial guidance for 2013 and a financial outlook for 2014, as part of its
third quarter financial results announced today in a separate press release.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that aims to discover, develop and
commercialize innovative medicines so people with serious diseases can lead
better lives. Vertex scientists and our collaborators are working on new
medicines to cure or significantly advance the treatment of cystic fibrosis,
hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis and other life-threatening diseases. In
addition to our clinical development programs, Vertex has more than a dozen
ongoing preclinical programs aimed at other serious and life-threatening
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development
sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and
Australia. For four years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of
its Top Employers in the life sciences. For additional information and the
latest updates from the company, please visit www.vrtx.com.
Indication and Important Safety Information for INCIVEK (telaprevir)
INCIVEK® (telaprevir) is a prescription medicine used with the medicines
peginterferon alfa and ribavirin to treat chronic (lasting a long time)
hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults with stable liver problems, who
have not been treated before or who have failed previous treatment. It is not
known if INCIVEK is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Important Safety Information
INCIVEK® (telaprevir) should always be used in combination with peginterferon
alfa and ribavirin. INCIVEK combination treatment may cause serious side
effects including skin rash and serious skin reactions, anemia (low red blood
cell count) that can be severe, and birth defects or death of an unborn baby.
Skin rashes are common with INCIVEK combination treatment. Sometimes these
skin rashes and other skin reactions can become serious, require treatment in
a hospital, and may lead to death. Patients should call their healthcare
provider right away if they develop any skin changes or itching during
treatment with INCIVEK. Their healthcare provider will decide if they need
treatment or if they need to stop INCIVEK or any of their other medicines.
Patients should not stop taking INCIVEK combination treatment without talking
with their healthcare provider first.
Patients' healthcare providers will do blood tests regularly to check for
anemia. If anemia is severe, the healthcare providers may tell them to stop
INCIVEK combined with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin may cause birth defects
or death of an unborn baby. Therefore, a patient should not take INCIVEK
combination treatment if she is pregnant or may become pregnant, or if he is a
man with a sexual partner who is pregnant. Females who can become pregnant and
females whose male partner takes these medicines must have a negative
pregnancy test before starting treatment, every month during treatment, and
for 6 months after treatment ends. Patients must use two forms of effective
birth control during treatment and for 6 months after all treatment has ended.
These two forms of birth control should not contain hormones, as these may not
work during treatment with INCIVEK.
INCIVEK and other medicines can affect each other and can also cause side
effects that can be serious or life-threatening. There are certain medicines
patients cannot take with INCIVEK combination treatment. Patients should tell
their healthcare providers about all the medicines they take, including
prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of INCIVEK combination treatment include itching,
nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anal or rectal problems (including hemorrhoids,
discomfort, burning or itching around or near the anus), taste changes and
tiredness. There are other possible side effects of INCIVEK, and side effects
associated with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin also apply to INCIVEK
combination treatment. Patients should tell their healthcare provider about
any side effect that bothers them or doesn't go away.
Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning, and the
Medication Guide for INCIVEK available at www.INCIVEK.com.
Vertex Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without
limitation, Dr. Leiden’s statements in the second and third paragraphs of the
press release and statements regarding (i) the company focusing its investment
on future opportunities in cystic fibrosis and other high-potential research
and development programs; and (ii) expected operating expense reductions in
2014.While Vertex believes the forward-looking statements contained in this
press release are accurate, those statements are subject to risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes to vary materially from the
outcomes referenced in the forward-looking statements.These risks and
uncertainties include, among other things, that the actual effects of the
changes announced today could vary materially from Vertex's expectations and
the other risks listed under Risk Factors in Vertex's annual report and
quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and
available through the company's website at www.vrtx.com.Vertex disclaims any
obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new
information becomes available.
VRTX – GEN
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Zach Barber or Nikki Levy, 617-341-6992
Michael Partridge, 617-341-6108
Kelly Lewis, 617-961-7530
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