Vertex Falls On Hepatitis Drug Delay Reports
Shares of Cambridge, MA-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) sagged again this morning after falling 7 percent yesterday on word that a prominent analyst had downgraded the stock in light of flawed trials that could delay the debut of its hepatitis C drug candidate by as much as two years. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Wachovia analyst George Farmer said that as a result of the trials, Vertex would be forced to conduct new tests that could delay the launch of telaprevir until 2012, leaving the door open for competitors to gain. Vertex fell $1.71 yesterday to close at $21.44. In late morning trading on Friday, it was down another $0.47 (just over 2 percent), to $20.97.