Robert J. Beall, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
These past few months have been a time of great progress — and promise — for the CF Foundation. Recently, we achieved an extraordinary scientific milestone in our collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals: a potential therapy that improves the function of the faulty CFTR protein, the basic defect in cystic fibrosis. In an ongoing Phase 2 study of the oral compound VX-770, a subset of CF patients who took the drug showed significant improvement in several key CF indicators. These data represent the most exciting results we've seen from a Phase 2 trial. I can say with great confidence that I have never been more optimistic about the road we are on to develop new therapies that address the basic defect in CF.
As the result of our continued progress in therapeutics development and our efforts to promote quality care, the median predicted age of survival for those with CF continues to increase. Based on the latest data from the Patient Registry, the median age rose to 37.4 in 2007. In addition, thanks to Foundation-supported advancements in treatment and care, more than 44 percent of people with CF are 18 years of age or older. This growing number of adults with CF brings with it a need for more physicians who are proficient in the care of adults with CF. The Foundation's new initiative, the Program for Adult Care Excellence, is designed to recruit and train more physicians as CF adult care providers. We are committed to helping everyone with CF — children and adults alike — access the best care possible.
As we continue to excel in CF research and care, our "family" of dedicated volunteers across the country is working harder and raising more funds than ever before, ensuring that we will have the resources to support other new and promising research efforts. At the Volunteer Leadership Initiative conference in March, volunteer leaders from across the country met to share best practices in fund-raising and recruitment and to honor chapters and individuals for their outstanding fund-raising efforts. This issue also highlights the outstanding progress of our major giving campaign, Milestones to a Cure, which is dedicated to expanding support for therapeutics development. We also invite you to read about some of the many "stars," both children and adults, in our constellation of volunteers.
We hope you will enjoy this issue of Commitment and know that the exciting progress we are making is the direct result of your dedicated and vital support of the Foundation.
Thank you for all you are doing to help bring us closer to a cure.
Robert J. Beall, Ph.D.