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October 9, 2012  Tue 2:14 AM CT

One investor is cautiously optimistic toward Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which is trying to develop a treatment for Hepatitis C.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring system detected the purchase of 2,500 April 55 puts for $6.20 and the sale of an equal number of October 55 puts for $1.45. Volume was below open interest in October, indicating that an existing position was closed and rolled forward in time.

The investor is probably using the puts to hedge a long position in VRTX shares. He or she paid $4.75 and now has an additional six months of protection against a drop in the stock. Adjusting the trade now saved the investor money because the Octobers will lose value at an accelerating pace as expiration approaches in the next two weeks. (See our Education section)

VRTX fell 1.57 percent to $58.49 yesterday but is up 20 percent since the beginning of August. The company plans to report data on its ALS-2200 Hep-C compound at a conference in Boston scheduled for Nov. 9-13.

Its pipeline also includes potential treatments of cystic fibrosis, inflammatory diseases, and influenza. Earnings come out on Oct. 29, as well.

Overall option volume in the stock was 8 times greater than average in the session, with puts outnumbering calls by 2 to 1.
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