Vertex Pharma misses sales estimates on weak demand for older CF treatments

FILE PHOTO: A sign hangs in front of the world headquarters of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston

(Reuters) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals missed Wall Street estimates for third-quarter sales on Monday, hurt by weaker-than-expected demand for its older cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments.

The drugmaker recorded a 35.4% fall in sales of its older CF treatments to $209.2 million.

Cystic fibrosis, affecting around 100,000 people globally, is an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs.

Vertex said it now expects annual sales of about $9.85 billion from its CF treatments, compared with LSEG estimates of $9.86 billion.

Sales of the company's top-selling CF drug Trikafta came in at $2.27 billion in the quarter, compared with estimates of $2.26 billion.

Vertex reported third-quarter total sales of $2.48 billion, missing estimates of $2.50 billion.

Last month, a panel of advisers to the U.S. health regulator said Vertex and its partner CRISPR Therapeutics could assess potential safety risks of their gene therapy for sickle cell disease, a type of blood disorder, after approval.

Analysts expect the therapy, a first-of-its-kind product to reach the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review, to win the health regulator's nod by Dec. 8.

Vertex anticipates the number of CF patients taking the company's medicines will continue to grow, including through new approvals and reimbursement for treatment of younger patients.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $4.08 per share in the third quarter. Analysts had expected a profit of $3.97.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Shounak Dasgupta)