Vertex Grants $1 Million to 15 Non-profit Organizations to Advance Initiatives for People Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Third Annual CF “Circle of Care” Grants Connect CF Community Members Around the World to Share Their Ideas and Inspiration

BOSTON--()--Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the grant recipients for its 2017 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Circle of Care program, an initiative that funds innovative, patient-centric programs for the CF community. This year, Vertex awarded a total of $1 million to 15 non-profit medical, academic, patient and community organizations. Since starting the program in 2015, Vertex has awarded 50 grants totaling $3 million to organizations around the world.

Circle of Care grant recipients are committed to making life better for people with CF and their families,” said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. “We are proud to support these organizations and inspired by the impact and international reach their projects have.”

Selected by a committee of CF community members and Vertex employees, this year’s recipients include organizations from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. A complete list of recipients and project descriptions is available here.

Receiving a CF Circle of Care grant is not only a valuable source of funding, but it also helps connect non-profits like ours with other groups who are striving to make a similar impact in the CF community,” said Brian Callanan, Founder and Executive Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation. “This grant enables us to create a new collaborative program to help people with CF live healthier lives in partnership with three other organizations looking to model our program in their local regions. We are so grateful to be able to help them launch such important work with these funds.”

Each year, Vertex invites Circle of Care grant recipients from around the world to a colloquium to discuss their projects and share advice and inspiration. The next colloquium will take place in November 2017 during the 31st North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

About CF Circle of Care
Research initiatives funded by Vertex's CF Circle of Care program include programs or tools that:

  • Support people with CF living a fuller, more engaged lifestyle;
  • Address the psycho-social challenges people with CF face;
  • Better support the family members of people with CF;
  • Support people with CF taking more ownership of their healthcare; and
  • Focus on the education of people with CF, including topics on transition and adherence and navigating new environments with CF.

About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-shortening 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.

About Vertex
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

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



Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Chris Stamm, 617-341-6992

Release Summary

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the recipients of 2017 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Circle of Care grants which fund patient-centric programs for the CF community.


Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Chris Stamm, 617-341-6992