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UPDATE 1-Vertex Pharma's quarterly profit beats estimates

(Adds forecast, estimates and Q2 details)

July 26 (Reuters) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc reported a better-than-expected profit for the third straight quarter, helped by improved sales of its cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs.

Net profit attributable to Vertex was $18 million, or 7 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $64.5 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Vertex earned 39 cents per share, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 35 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Vertex's results come on the heels of stunning data from three triple combination trials, taking the company one step closer to developing a drug that treats up to 90 percent of CF patients.

CF is a life-threatening condition, where a defective gene disrupts the function of the lungs and digestive system, producing a build-up of thick, sticky mucus leading to inflammation and recurrent bacterial infections.

Vertex's total revenue rose 26.1 percent to $544.1 million, beating analysts' estimate of $487.5 million.

Orkambi and Kalydeco, Vertex's lead CF treatments, drew in $324 million and $190 million, respectively, compared with Barclay's consensus estimates of $299 million and $189 million.

Vertex also reiterated its full-year CF product revenue forecast of $1.84 billion to $2.07 billion. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru)