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FDA Review Propels Vertex Shares

Shares of Cambridge-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped more than 10 percent Tuesday after federal health officials favorably reviewed its hepatitis C drug.

The Food and Drug Administration is meeting this week to weigh the benefits of telaprevir. The FDA says the experimental drug cures more patients of hepatitis C than previously revealed, and faster than existing drugs.

The information suggests federal approval is likely and boosts the financial outlook for Vertex. The Cambridge company’s stock is now close to its highest value in 10 years.

The FDA is also considering a similar drug from Merck. The two hepatitis C drugs are expected to share a multi-billion-dollar market.

Approval could come as early as next month, and it if does, it would be Vertex’s first commercialized product in the United States.

This program aired on April 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.

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