Active Biotech Stocks Vertex Pharmaceuticals & Ligand Pharmaceuticals

In this article, we take a look at two stocks which have been in news recently, Vertex Pharmaceuticals & Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Keep an eye out for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ VRTX) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ LGND) . Vertex has performed really well in the recent weeks, recording almost a 50% rise in its price levels. Ligand has also had some very positive developments revolving around new and old partnerships.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is up more than 50%, after it announced that an experimental cystic fibrosis (CF) combination regimen had met the primary endpoints in two phase 3 trials compared to a placebo. CF is a rare genetic disease which causes the buildup of thick mucus that can damage the lungs.Vertex’s CF treatment is a combination of two drugs — VX-809 (lumacafator) and Kalydeco (ivacaftor).

Meanwhile, Ligand Pharmaceuticals and TG Therapeutics just inked a new partnership to develop and commercialize Ligand’s IRAK-4 (Interleukin-1 Receptor Associated Kinase-4) inhibitors in a preclinical program for treating certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. IRAK-4 is a protein kinase which plays a key role in immunity and inflammation. Ligand originally acquired the IRAK-4 inhibitors from its acquisition of Pharmacopeia in 2008.

Vertex & Ligand

Ligand will receive 125,000 shares of TG common stock worth approximately $1 million, and is eligible to receive $207 million in potential milestone payments. If the IRAK-4 products are approved, Ligand will earn tiered royalties between 6% to 9.5% on net sales. Investors should also note that Ligand’s partner GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE GSK ) recently announced positive data from its phase 3 trial of Promacta/Revolade in pediatric patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia. This is another piece of positive news for Ligand Pharmaceuticals.

On the other hand, Vertex currently has two marketed products — Kalydeco for CF and Incivek for hepatitis C. In 2013, Vertex reported $466.3 million in revenues from Incivek (which is marketed by Johnson & Johnson overseas as Incivo) and $371.3 million in revenues from Kalydeco. The remainder of Vertex’s top line mainly comes from royalties and collaborative payments.

Vertex & Ligand News Video

Watch this video for more “Vertex & Ligand” news.

Vertex & Ligand Financial News

Both the stocks Vertex & Ligand would look to have a bullish run in the near future. They have both been around some very encouraging news. Vertex look to increase their product range while Ligand would hope for similar breakthrough partnerships in the future.

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