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Vertex Pharmaceuticals: Bringing smart people together to solve scientific problems

Posted on 24 February 2014

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a global biotechnology company creating new possibilities in medicines, specifically for the diseases hepatitis C and Cystic Fibrosis. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts but also has r&d centres dotted around the globe in California, Canada and Oxford in the UK.

Two key medicines take centre stage at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, namely Kalydeco, a cystic fibrosis treatment and Incivek, a prescription medicine treatment for hepatitis C.

In addition to these two focus therapeutic areas Vertex Pharmaceuticals is also developing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and influenza and is interested in general in the following areas for collaborations and developments:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Liver-related diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Specialty respiratory diseases (especially those associated with cystic fibrosis)
  • Fibrotic disorders
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Oncology

Since its establishment in 1989 in Cambridge, MA, USA by Merck research scientist Joshua Boger, Vertex Pharmaceuticals has been involved in many exciting developments, one of which included the discovery of the crystal structure of the hepatitis C virus protease in 1996. Other highlights for the company were the FDA approval of its first treatment for hepatitis C in May 2011, closely followed by the FDA approval of its cystic fibrosis treatment in January 2012. Vertex has also been involved in many partnerships with research organizations and pharmaceutical companies to develop new treatments; the company’s first partnership was a £30m research partnership observed in 1990, a £20m deal with Kissei Pharmaceuticals to develop new HIV treatments followed this in 1992. These deals really helped to put Vertex Pharmaceuticals on the map and it physically did too by opening its first international office in the UK.

Dedicated Partnering

Collaborating is very important to the team at Vertex, they see it as bringing some of the smartest people together to solve scientific problems, and therefore the company encourages both internal and external collaborations. Vertex works with research organizations, non-profits, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to discover and commercialize new treatments. In addition to actual therapeutic candidates, the company seeks platform technologies that may allow it to change the treatment of a certain disease.

Once a partnering target has been identified either through an incoming proposal or a sought opportunity, Vertex Pharmaceuticals sets into place its three tiered partnering process system which involves;

  1. Search and Evaluation
  2. Transactions
  3. Alliance Management

A technical evaluation of the opportunity begins the process, with the involvement of senior management to support and enable rapid decision making, thorough discussions and comprehensive due diligence is then a must for any potential opportunities. Throughout this process Vertex aims to understand how the collaborator works so that a solid foundation for the deal can be established and hence a suitable deal structure.

Vertex has been singled out for its partnering approach, notably for its drive, passion and problem solving. To submit an opportunity to Vertex Pharmaceuticals you can use this form on its website

Partnering outreach

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is often present at a large number of partnering events throughout the year. Partnering events are a great place to meet lots of potential partners face to face in a short space of time.

Events with Vertex Pharmaceuticals presence include but are not limited to:

  • BIO International Convention and Business Forum
  • BioEurope / BioEurope Spring

For a full list of forthcoming partnering events where you could meet with Vertex Pharmaceuticals in person visit Current Partnering’s Event calendar.  

Contacting Vertex Pharmaceuticals for partnering

Vertex Pharmaceuticals can be contacted in relation to partnering through a number of channels. Here is a list of the most common channels:  

Partnering events: face to face contact is generally considered the most effective form of contact. Partnering events not only allow face to face contact but also contact with multiple companies for the price of one flight and hotel reservation. This benefit makes partnering events the most cost effective method of making personal introductions as a start point for partnering discussions.

See Current Partnering’s event calendar for details of forthcoming events.   

Direct contact: there are several sources of direct contact with Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ business development team

-        Phone: Picking up the phone and speaking with an individual is the best form of non-face to face contact as it allows your name and voice to be remembered and associated with an opportunity.

-        Email: Sending an email is another good way of making contact. Ideally, research the individual responsible for the therapy/technology area being targeted and get in touch. This page on the Vertex Pharmaceuticals website has details for contacting Vertex Pharmaceuticals .

-        LinkedIn: Business to business contact is increasingly taking place via LinkedIn, the global online networking channel.

Many of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ business development executives have LinkedIn profiles and can be found by viewing the company’s profile. Visit Vertex Pharmaceuticals Linkedin Page. To see the latest updates from Vertex Pharmaceuticals you can also view its Twitter page.

Opportunity submission form: the least favourable channel but worth using if you do not have access to the other channels mentioned above. This is the partnering form available on the Vertex Pharmaceuticals website for potential partnering opportunities and general contact names. 

Raveena Bhambra  


Our report provides more detailed insight into the details of each deal. See:  Partnering Agreements with Vertex Pharmaceuticals 2009-2014

Vertex partnering at Current Agreements

View all partnering deals for Vertex: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Full details on each deal can be found at CurrentAgreements (subscription required)

Or purchase report: Partnering Agreements with Vertex Pharmaceuticals 2009-2014


Summary profile data for Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Partnering activity for Vertex Pharmaceuticals 

M&A activity for Vertex Pharmaceuticals 


Available reports from Current Partnering

Report: Partnering Agreements with Vertex Pharmaceuticals 2009-2014

Report: Partnering Deals and Alliances with Big Biotech


Available resources for deal coverage for Vertex           

Subscribe: Current Agreements life sciences partnering, M&A and financing deals database – find out more

Read: more on Vertex company profile, recent partnering, M&A and financing news and articles



Report: Practical Guide to Finding Partners

View: Current Partnering’s Partnering Scorecard – view top life science partnering deals by value

View: Current Partnering’s M&A Scorecard – view top life science M&A deals by value

View: Current Partnering’s Deal Metrics – the latest deal trend infographics for life science deal making

View: Current Partnering’s Big Pharma Deal Making Scorecard – latest trends in big pharma deal making activity

Signup: Current Partnering Dealmakers Update – weekly newsletter providing the latest life science industry deal news, deal making trends, partnering events – sign up now

Signup: Current Agreements Deals Review – monthly newsletter - reviewing the previous month’s life science deal making – partnering, M&A and financing – sign up now

View: Top 50 pharma – overview of top 50 pharmaceutical companies by revenue – partnering activity, deal news, partnering dealtalk

View: Top 50 biotech – overview of top 50 biotechnology companies by revenue – partnering activity, deal news, partnering dealtalk

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