Vertex Awards 40 Scholarships Totaling $200,000 to People Living with Cystic Fibrosis and Their Immediate Family Members | Business Wire

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. Support independent basic science

and clinical research.

“Vertex is focused on discovering and developing transformative

medicines for people with CF. 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.

academic achievement. Vertex thanks the members of the CF community who

volunteered to serve on the selection committee. Their time and

commitment.

“I believe I was given a second chance to inspire, love and help

others,” said Carly Wheeler, who's living with CF and received a double

lung transplant last year. “The All in for CF Scholarship will

help me work towards 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 enrol 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. The median age of death is 27

years.

About Vertex
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that

aims to discover, develop and commercialise 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'll treat the underlying cause of

CF for the vast majority of people with the disease. Our ultimate

goal is to cure it. Beyond our transformational medicines, we help

people with CF lead active lives and pursue higher education. We

fund independent research and innovative patient centric programs. To

learn more please visit www.vrtxallincf.com.

(VRTX-GEN)