CORRECTED-Vertex cuts jobs, forecast as hep C drug sales plunge

Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:46pm IST

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(Corrects year-ago loss figure in last paragraph to $57.5 million from $5.1 million)

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc lowered its full-year revenue forecast and said it would cut about 370 jobs after sales of its hepatitis C drug plunged in the third quarter.

Vertex said it would incur a restructuring charge of about $35 million to $45 million in 2013 related to the job cuts.

The company's hepatitis C drug, Incivek, was hugely popular when it was launched in 2011.

However, sales peaked within months and have tumbled since as patients wait for new drugs that do not need to be taken with the injected drug interferon, which causes flu-like symptoms.

Incivek sales fell 66 percent to $85.6 million in the third quarter.

The company said it now expects full-year revenue in the range of $1 billion to $1.05 billion, down from its previous forecast of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion.

Vertex also reported a larger-than-expected third-quarter loss. The company's net loss increased to $124.1 million, or 54 cents per share, from $57.5 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average estimated a loss of 34 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30. (Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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