BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the first recipients of the company’s All in for CF Scholarship program. Each of the 40 scholarship recipients will be awarded $5,000 for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Vertex established the All in for CF Scholarship program to help people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their immediate family members pursue two-year, four-year or graduate degrees. These scholarships complement other Vertex initiatives that help people with CF live active lives, improve awareness of CF, and support independent basic science and clinical research.
“Vertex is focused on discovering and developing transformative medicines for people with CF, but our commitment to the community extends far beyond this,” said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. “Our new scholarship program reflects the fact that CF impacts entire families by helping people with CF, their caregivers, siblings and children pursue their academic goals.”
Scholarship recipients were chosen by an independent committee of CF community members based on a submitted essay and an applicant’s demonstrated level of community involvement, financial need, and academic achievement. Vertex thanks the members of the CF community who volunteered to serve on the selection committee, for their time and commitment.
“I believe I was given a second chance to inspire, love and help others,” said Carly Wheeler, who is living with CF and received a double lung transplant last year. “The All in for CF Scholarship will help me work toward doing that. I plan to study genetics and, one day, join the fight against CF and other diseases to give people the opportunity of a full life.” This fall, Wheeler will enroll as a sophomore at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study biology.
More information about the All in for CF Scholarship, including biographies for some of this year’s recipients, can be found here.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia. CF is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF. There are approximately 2,000 known mutations in the CFTR gene. Some of these mutations, which can be determined by a genetic test, lead to CF by creating defective or too few CFTR proteins at the cell surface. The defective or missing CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into or out of the cell in a number of organs, including the lungs. This leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage in many patients that eventually leads to death. The median predicted age of survival for a person born today with CF is 41 years, but the median age of death is 27 years.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that aims to discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines so people with serious diseases can lead better lives. In addition to our clinical development programs focused on cystic fibrosis, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs aimed at other serious and life-threatening diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. For seven years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences. For additional information and the latest updates from the company, please visit www.vrtx.com.
Vertex Is All In for CF
The CF community motivates Vertex employees each and every day – to dig deeper, to do more, to explore the “what ifs,” and to push the boundaries of what we know. We aim to discover and develop medicines that will treat the underlying cause of CF for the vast majority of people with the disease, and our ultimate goal is to cure it. Beyond our transformational medicines, we help people with CF lead active lives and pursue higher education, and we fund independent research and innovative patient centric programs. To learn more please visit www.vrtxallincf.com.