BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) announced today a new $750,000 program to support the work of young faculty who are newly establishing independent research programs in cystic fibrosis (CF). The program furthers Vertex’s commitment to the next generation of CF researchers by expanding the existing CF Research Innovation Awards (RIA) program, which supports the work of postdoctoral researchers. Applicants from across the globe may apply now through January 8, 2018. Together, these programs will provide up to $10 million in grants over the next five years and are part of Vertex’s recently announced 10-year, $500 million corporate giving commitment.
The Vertex CF Research Innovation Awards are highly competitive grants created to inspire and support M.D.s and Ph.Ds. who are working to advance the understanding of CF and establish their careers as CF researchers. The awards fall into two categories: Independent and Mentored.
Independent Research Innovation Awards provide grants of $750,000 dispersed over three years to support newly independent faculty members as they establish their own research programs with outstanding promise in CF. Up to two awards will be given annually in this category.
Mentored Research Innovation Awards provide grants of up to $125,000 dispersed over two years to support mentored projects with established CF researchers. Up to four awards in this category will be given annually.
“Vertex invests in science to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases, and the next generation of scientists are needed to make this vision a reality,” said David Altshuler, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Global Research and Chief Scientific Officer of Vertex. “Supporting the development of young physician researchers and scientists is critical to continued advancement of our understanding of the disease, and to ensure people living with cystic fibrosis have the best care for the future.”
Reviewed and selected by an independent steering committee, applications for 2018 are now being accepted until January 8, 2018. For additional information and to apply please visit www.cfresearchinnovationaward.com.
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.