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 Vertex.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. About Vertex 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 diseases.