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.
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 taking INCIVEK. 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.
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