Vertex Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire CTP-656 from Lexington-based Concert Pharmaceuticals. CTP-656 is an investigational cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiator that has the potential to assist in treating the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF). As part of the agreement, Vertex will pay Concert $160 million in cash for worldwide development and commercialization rights to CTP-656. If CTP-656 is approved as part of a combination regimen to treat CF, Concert could receive up to an additional $90 million in milestones based on regulatory approval in the U.S. and reimbursement in the UK, Germany or France. The agreement is subject to approval by Concert’s shareholders.
CTP-656 was developed by Concert through the application of deuterium chemistry to modify Vertex’s CFTR potentiator, ivacaftor. Ivacaftor was discovered by Vertex scientists and is approved in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia for people with CF who have specific mutations in the CFTR gene. CTP-656 has the potential to play a key role in future once-daily combination regimens to treat CF. Concert is currently conducting a Phase 2 study of CTP-656 in people with CF who have gating mutations. As part of the agreement, Vertex will acquire rights to all of Concert’s other CF research and preclinical programs.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Vertex has since moved its corporate headquarters to Boston and has research and development sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. For seven years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences. (Source: Vertex Website, March 6, 2017)