Falling sales, Sovaldi force Vertex to ditch hep C drug
- Vertex's Incivek (telaprevir) will be discontinued in October because of declining sales and increasing competitive pressures, especially from Gilead's blockbuster Sovaldi.
- Initial performance of Incivek was positive, with $1 billion in sales and more than 100,000 patients treated.
- Incivek sales were down to $13. 2 million for the first half of this year, a staggering 96% drop compared with the first half of 2013.
Vertex is not just discontinuing Incivek. The company is abandoning hepatitis C as an area of research and marketing altogether.
As Incivek sales continued to plummet, Vertex made moves to offset the losses. First, the copmany cut 15% of its workforce, or 370 employees. Now, Vertex will focus on its cystic fibrosis portfolio, with Kalydeco (ivacaftor) -- a $307,000 drug -- leading the way.