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Nature Magazine Highlights CF Research Since Gene Discovery in 1989

July 16, 2009

An in-depth news feature in Nature magazine this month chronicles two decades of CF research — challenges and progress — since the discovery of the CF gene. The story notes that an American with CF born today has a life expectancy of at least ten years longer than one born in 1989.

The piece highlights the promising drug development efforts of the CF Foundation, particularly its partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, to develop two drugs that address the underlying defect in CF, including VX-770 and VX-809.

Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, describes the moment when the VX-770 data from early clinical trials was presented to a room of researchers. “When they showed those data, and I saw the emotions from those physicians, it was unbelievable. It was the most emotional time since the discovery of that gene. It’s telling you we can change the course of this disease.” 

Co-gene founder Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who has been nominated by President Obama to head the National Institutes of Health, says in the article that if the Vertex therapies are successful: “it will be a pair of home runs, a milestone for all genetic diseases.”

Read the full story.

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