October 25, 2017 / 8:50 PM / a year ago

Vertex posts wider net loss, raises cystic fibrosis sales outlook

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc reported a wider third-quarter net loss on Wednesday, on higher costs and onetime items, and raised its outlook for full-year sales of its key cystic fibrosis drugs.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company posted a net loss of $103 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a loss of $39 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.

It partly attributed the loss to an upfront payment of $160 million related to an acquisition. Research and development costs also rose 50 percent, it said.

Excluding one-time items, Vertex said it earned 53 cents per share.

The company said it now expects full-year cystic fibrosis product sales of $2.1 billion to $2.15 billion - up from a previous range of $1.84 billion to $2.07 billion.

The company’s quarterly revenue rose 40 percent to $578 million.

Sales of Orkambi and Kalydeco, Vertex’s lead cystic fibrosis treatments, totaled $336 million and $213 million, respectively, beating average analyst estimates of $318 million and $192 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition, where a defective gene disrupts the function of the lungs and digestive system, producing a build-up of thick, sticky mucus leading to inflammation and recurrent bacterial infections. (Reporting By Deena Beasley; editing by Susan Thomas)

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