Vertex Says It Can Deliver CF Medications Worldwide Despite COVID-19 Outbreak

Iqra Mumal MSc avatar

by Iqra Mumal MSc |

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals said the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has not affected its supply chain or its 2020 business outlook.

The company said it’s confident it can continue to supply all its approved medications to patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) around the world.

COVID-19 — an acronym for COrona VIrus Disease, and the year that it was discovered, 2019 — is an infectious disorder caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

The virus is thought to be spread through small droplets of moisture produced by sneezing or coughing. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 cases have been identified in over 100 countries.

Vertex has several approved therapies for the treatment of patients with CF: Kalydeco (ivacaftor), Orkambi (ivacaftor/lumacaftor), Symdeko/Symkevi (tezacaftor/ivacaftor combo), and Trikafta (elexacaftor, tezacaftor, and ivacaftor).

The company said it has built supply chains for its commercialized medicines to make sure the products are ready for patients, taking into account a wide range of contingencies.

Vertex said it also has a substantial safety stock, which can help overcome potential disruptions, and has secured alternate source suppliers in various geographic locations. ​

“The challenges facing the world with the spread of COVID-19 are significant, but it is important for the medical and patient community to know that we remain highly confident in our ability to continue to supply all of our medicines —Trikafta, Symdeko/Symkevi, Orkambi, and Kalydeco — uninterrupted to patients around the world who rely on them,” Jeffrey Leiden, MD, PhD, chairman, president and CEO of Vertex, said in a press release.

“We have not seen any impact from COVID-19 on the Trikafta launch or other elements of our business,” Leiden said. “We are well-prepared from a business continuity perspective, with ample supply to meet commercial needs well into the future.”

Trikafta, the most recent Vertex CF medication approved in the U.S., is being assessed as a treatment for CF by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the health regulatory agency in the U.K., and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Information on the developing COVID-19 situation can be found on the websites of agencies including the World Health OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the CF Foundation.