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Vertex Submits Application to FDA for Approval of VX-770 – First Potential Drug to Target Underlying Cause of Cystic Fibrosis

October 19, 2011

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced today it has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a potential new CF therapy, VX-770 — under its new proposed trade name, KALYDECO™.

If approved, it will be the first drug on the market that targets the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. Therapies available to people with CF to date only treat symptoms of the disease.

The company is seeking approval for the drug in people with cystic fibrosis age 6 and older who carry at least one copy of the G551D mutation of cystic fibrosis.

KALYDECO (kuh-LYE-deh-koh) was discovered in a collaboration between Vertex and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which provided substantial scientific, financial and clinical support throughout the development process.

“The CF Foundation is thrilled that KALYDECO is on track for possible FDA approval in 2012,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., President and CEO of the CF Foundation. “This is a significant step forward in our collaboration with Vertex and is further validation of the CF Foundation’s drug development strategy. We remain committed to accelerating the development of similar targeted medicines that will benefit all people with cystic fibrosis.”

Vertex has asked the FDA for priority review of the potential drug, which, if granted, could shorten the review from 10 to 6 months. The FDA grants priority review status for several reasons, including in situations where a potential drug is considered a major treatment advance.

Results released earlier this year from Phase 3 clinical trials of KALYDECO in people with the G551D mutation of CF showed that those receiving the drug had remarkable and sustained improvements in lung function and other key symptoms of the disease, compared with those on placebo.

As FDA review of the potential drug gets underway, Vertex has set up a program to provide KALYDECO to people age 6 and older with the G551D mutation who are in critical medical need and could benefit from the treatment prior to potential approval.

The expanded access program is designed for people with CF who have highly limited lung function and meet other criteria. (Information about the program is available at CF Foundation-accredited care centers.)

KALYDECO is currently being evaluated in combination with another oral drug in development, VX-809, in people with the most common mutation of CF, Delta F508. 

Vertex plans to begin the second part of the Phase 2 KALYDECO and VX-809 clinical trial this month and will evaluate the two drugs over a longer period of time.

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