Pharmaceutical firm Vertex Ireland’s revenues soared last year on the back of the company's deal with the HSE on the groundbreaking blockbuster cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.
Newly-filed accounts for the company show its revenues surged 71% to €60m. In June 2017, Vertex Ireland reached an agreement with the HSE for the sale of Orkambi to around 600 people with cystic fibrosis in Ireland.
The deal followed people living with cystic fibrosis taking to the streets demanding from the Government free access to the drug which treats the underlying causes of the disorder.
The company's operating profits increased by 73% from to €1.8m. However, Vertex Ireland recorded a pre-tax loss of €1.6m, chiefly as a result of foreign exchange losses of €2.4m and interest payable of €1.4m.
Vertex Ireland said the rise in revenue and operating profit was "predominantly due to increased revenues" from the Orkambi deal.
Ireland has the highest incidence of cystic fibrosis in the world and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland has said that there has been "a very high take-up" of Orkambi here.
Vertex also sells another cystic fibrosis treatment drug called Kalydeco.
"The feedback that we have received back from those taking Orkambi and Kalydeco has been absolutely excellent," Cystic Fibrosis Ireland chief executive Philip Watt said earlier this year.
"Our patients are fully cognisant of the costs of Orkambi and if it is not working for them, they come off it."
Mr Watt said that the availability of the two drugs reduces hospitalisation for patients by 30%. More than half of the 1,300 cystic fibrosis sufferers in Ireland are eligible for Orkambi, with 12% eligible for Kalydeco.