Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX 0.78%), a biopharmaceutical stock that specializes in cystic fibrosis (CF) and gene-editing therapies, saw its shares jump 9.03% on Friday. The stock closed at $287.89 on Thursday, then opened on Friday at $302 before rising to $313.89 in the late afternoon. It's now close to its 52-week high of $316.48. Its 52-week low is $179.96. So far this year, the stock is up more than 41%.
The company released its third-quarter earnings report after the market closed on Thursday and the numbers were strong enough to give the stock a boost on Friday.
Vertex reported revenue of $2.33 billion, up 18% year over year, and net income of $931 million and earnings per share (EPS) of $3.59, both up 9% over the same period in 2021. The company reiterated that it intends to submit its biologics licensing application to the Food and Drug Administration soon for exa-cel, the promising gene-editing blood therapy it developed with CRISPR Therapeutics. Vertex also said it had begun a phase 3 trial for VX-548 as a therapy for acute pain.
The way the biotech stock closed the week, it shouldn't be surprising to see it continue a strong run as well next week. The key takeaway is that the company's lead CF drug, Trikafta, is pulling market share away from other CF drugs, including those made by Vertex. The drug, which will likely continue to add label expansions as it is in several trials, did $2.01 billion in sales in the quarter, up from $1.56 billion in the same period a year ago. The success of that drug will help smooth the way for Vertex's launch and commercialization of exa-cel next year. The drug has been impressive in trials to treat and possibly cure two transfusion-dependent genetic blood disorders in severe sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.
The company also upgraded its yearly revenue guidance to say it now expected it to fall between $8.8 billion to $8.9 billion, up from earlier estimates of between $8.6 billion and $8.8 billion.