Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) shares skyrocketed with each of the 249.1 million shares increasing by $32.21, adding over $8 billion to the company’s market value. The biotech company announced positive results from clinical studies of its cystic fibrosis treatments, and also increased the chances of becoming a buyout target according to an analyst.
The shares jumped up 24% in the morning, reaching an all-time high of $167.00. According to the FactSet Data, if this rally holds up, it will be the largest one-day percentage gain for the company in over 3 years.
The highest closing price previously for the stock was $141.48 a share back on Aug. 19, 2015.
The company said the shares jumped because data from clinical studies of combinations of drug treatments, VX-152, VX-440, AND VX-659, showed up to a 12% average improvement in lung function in certain cystic fibrosis patients given the drugs. The studies treated cystic fibrosis patients with the gene mutation delF508, which interferes with a protein which maintains the balance of salt and water within a cell.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic defect that causes abnormal buildup of mucus in the lungs which can lead to chronic infections and progressively damage the lungs.
Vertex said it plans to start a mid-stage clinical study on VX-659 in the beginning of August and another study of a drug, VX-445, is already in progress. Both of the results for these drugs are expected to be released in early 2018.
“With four active three-drug combinations, Vertex has many options to choose from in terms of its path forward, but within a year or two we cannot see any reason why 100% of the CF patient population who carry a delF508 allele (roughly 87% of the total prevalent pool of patients) will not be on one of these medicines,” said Geoffrey Porges, an analyst at Leerink.
“This disclosure confirms our bullish view, and also reinforces our views of the desirability and uniqueness of Vertex as an acquisition target for larger companies (some of them West Coast based),” said Porges.
Vertex’s stock has now almost doubled in the past year to date.