Contact: Laurie Fink:; (301) 841-2602

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation & BIO to Brief Congress on Cutting-Edge Venture Philanthropy Model

Nonprofits Make Major Investments in Early-Stage Drug Research

(Washington D.C.) — Nonprofits across the country are increasingly funding promising, early-stage drug research to advance treatments for life-threatening diseases. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a trailblazer in this area and is credited with helping to give this trend a name: venture philanthropy.

The estimated cost of developing a new drug is now $800 million. Investments by the CF Foundation and similar organizations—in promising but risky drug therapies—have become an integral part of bringing new treatments to market.

On June 29, the CF Foundation and its largest biotech collaborator, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, will brief Congress on venture philanthropy and how the Foundation created and funds an innovative drug development program to bring cystic fibrosis treatments to patients who need them.

The briefing will be hosted by the Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), and by the Congressional Biotechnology Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and John Shimkus (R-IL).

WHAT: Capitol Hill Briefing, “Breathing New Life Into Venture Philanthropy”

WHO: Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation
Joshua Boger, Ph.D., president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Pamela L. Zeitlin, M.D, Ph.D., co-director of the CF Center at
Johns Hopkins University Hospital

WHEN: Friday, June 29, 2007, 11 a.m.

WHERE: U.S. House of Representatives, 121 Cannon House Office Building,
Washington, D.C. 20515

About CF and the CF Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. CF is a genetic disease that can lead to life-threatening lung infections and digestive problems. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has more than 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit

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