Like many diseases that impact a small population, CF was ignored by the pharmaceutical industry for many years, despite decades of advances in basic science driven by the CF Foundation. In response to this unmet need, the CF Foundation pioneered our venture philanthropy model. Our approach is to provide upfront research funding, as well as scientific and clinical expertise, to reduce the technical and financial risk for pharmaceutical companies developing innovative CF therapies and encourage them to invest in treatments and cures for CF. Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of our model.
In some cases, the CF Foundation is eligible to receive funds from the sales of approved therapies or from potential therapies that were financially supported through our venture philanthropy, which enables us to fund new research to discover and develop drugs that will help more people with CF. In cases where these funds are, or are likely to be, significant, our approach is to sell our royalty rights when possible.
The most well-known and significant of these transactions resulted from a series of therapeutic discovery and development awards to Aurora Biosciences/Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. over a period of 12 years beginning in 2000. This contracted research resulted in the development of ivacaftor, the first therapy to address the underlying cause of CF, as well as other important disease-modifying treatments. In this case, the CF Foundation sold its royalty rights to CF treatments developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. to Royalty Pharma for $3.3 billion in 2014.
The proceeds from the monetization have provided the CF Foundation a tremendous opportunity to accelerate our mission as never before and expand our investments in research, care, and patient programs. In fact, our funding of research and medical activities has more than doubled since 2014, vastly increasing our potential to have a positive impact on the CF community.