BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) has doubled the number of scholarships for people living with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their immediate family members. In its second year, the All in for CF Scholarship program will award 80 scholarships of $5,000 each to help people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their immediate family members pursue two-year, four-year or graduate degrees during the 2018-2019 academic year. This scholarship program is part of Vertex’s recently announced 10-year, $500 million corporate giving commitment.
“At Vertex, our passion is fueled by the hope and courage of the CF community, which is clearly reflected in each All in for CF scholar,” said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. “We are pleased to be able to expand this program to help even more people with CF and their families pursue their academic and professional goals.”
“Receiving this scholarship shows how we are not letting an illness get the best of us; it shows how we are choosing to see the positive in the negative,” said All in for CF scholar Lila Buchanan, whose mother lives with CF and who lost an aunt and an uncle to the disease.
Scholarship recipients are chosen by an independent committee of CF community members based on an applicant’s demonstrated level of community involvement, financial need, and academic achievement, as well as a personal essay. Applications are available here and will be accepted until January 3, 2018. Recipients will be announced in May 2018.
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 eight 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 in the Community
Vertex has made a 10-year, $500 million corporate giving commitment focused on providing patient and caregiver support including access to our medicines; expanding our commitment to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education; developing young physicians and scientists; and investing in our communities.
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.