Last updated: 10.09.2018


Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an American pharmaceutical company based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Vertex was founded in 1989 by Joshua Boger and Kevin J. Kinsella. Vertex was one of the first biotech firms to use an explicit strategy of rational drug design rather than combinatorial chemistry.

By 2004, its product pipeline focused on viral infections, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and cancer. It maintains headquarters in South Boston, Massachusetts, and two research facilities, in San Diego, California, and Oxford, England. The company’s beginnings were profiled by Barry Werth in the 1994 book The Billion-Dollar Molecule and its further development in his 2014 book, The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma. In 2009, the company had about 1,800 employees, including 1,200 in the Boston area.

In January 2014, Vertex completed its move from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Boston, Massachusetts, and took residence in a new, $800 million complex. Located on the South Boston waterfront, it will mark the first time in the company’s history that all of the roughly 1,200 Vertex employees in the Greater Boston area will be working together.

Since late 2011, when Jeffrey M. Leiden joined Vertex as CEO, Vertex has ranked among the top 15 best-performing companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500. Vertex shares increased 250 per cent in the same period. Vertex posted only one annual profit since it was founded in 1989.