Vertex Pharmaceuticals Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biotechnology firm Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NAS: VRTX) are shooting higher by 11% today after the FDA announced the approval of its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco.

So what: Things just keep getting better for Vertex and its potential patients. Kalydeco represents the first treatment that is directed at the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, not just its symptoms. Kalydeco is targeted at a specific gene mutation that will cover about 4% of all cases in the United States. Today's approval by the FDA came three months ahead of the decision deadline.

Now what: As I alluded to yesterday, Vertex is already on fire and today's FDA decision just adds more fuel. The company's blockbuster hepatitis-C drug Incivek could be the fastest drug to tally $1 billion in sales, and now Vertex boasts the very first treatment to the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis. Vertex is valued at just 10 times forward earnings and is slated to grow revenue by 79% in 2012 -- from that perspective, it remains an incredible value. I continue to feel that this is the year Vertex gets purchased by a larger pharmaceutical name; I've listed off my bets as to who could be the buyer.

Craving more input? Start by adding Vertex Pharmaceuticals to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up with the latest news on the company.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorSean Williamshas no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen nameTMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen nameTrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle@TMFUltraLong.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals.Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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