Vertex Awards $400,000 in Scholarships to People Living with Cystic Fibrosis and Their Immediate Family Members
Published: May 01, 2018
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the recipients of scholarships as part of its second All in for CF Scholarship program. Each of the 80 scholarship recipients will be awarded $5,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year.
The Vertex All in for CF Scholarship program was established in 2017 to help people living with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their immediate family members pursue two-year, four-year or graduate degrees. Part of Vertex’s 10-year, $500 million corporate giving commitment, this year the company doubled the number of recipients to 80 to help more people in the CF community.
“From people living with cystic fibrosis returning to school following lung transplants, to brothers and sisters inspired by their sibling’s courageous fights, the determination of All in for CF Scholarship recipients is remarkable,” said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. “They are examples of the many families who inspire us in our relentless pursuit to discover and develop transformative CF medicines.”
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.
“The Vertex All in for CF Scholarship has been the difference between continuing my education and putting my studies on hold,” said Jenny Livingston, who is living with CF and studying psychology at Utah State University. “I feel a deep gratitude for this scholarship because I don’t know that I would have graduated with my bachelor’s degree without it.”
More information about the All in for CF Scholarship, including recipient profiles and stories can be found here. Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year will be available in the fall.
CF 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 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (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, or genotyping test, lead to CF by creating non-working or too few CFTR proteins at the cell surface. The defective function or absence of CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cell in a number of organs. In 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 age of death is in the mid-to-late 20s.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District. Today, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including being named to Science magazine's Top Employers in the life sciences ranking for eight years in a row.
For additional information and the latest updates from the company, please visit www.vrtx.com.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Chris Stamm, 617-341-6992
Source: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated