Orkambi was developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. with significant clinical, scientific and funding support from the CF Foundation.
“We applaud the FDA for its swift approval of Orkambi,” said Robert J. Beall, president and CEO of the CF Foundation. “It is our hope that everyone who is prescribed this drug will have immediate access to it so they can begin to live longer, healthier lives.”
Beall continued: “We are proud of the important role that the Foundation played in the research and development of both ivacaftor and lumacaftor, including initiating the first efforts that led to the discovery and development of these small molecules.”
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening
In people with two copies of the F508del mutation, a series of problems prevents a
Orkambi combines lumacaftor and ivacaftor to treat these problems with a two-step approach. Lumacaftor helps move the defective
“While the approval of Orkambi is a meaningful step forward, we won't lose sight of the promises we've made to all people with CF and their families,” said Preston W. Campbell, III, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs of the CF Foundation. “We will continue to fight the disease from every angle, exploring all promising avenues of research, including those that are pioneering new technologies to repair the defective CF gene, so that one day all people with CF will no longer have the disease.”
Orkambi is the latest example of the CF Foundation's venture philanthropy model, through which it has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to help develop CF drugs and therapies. This approach has led to tremendous advances in life expectancy for people with CF, which has doubled in the past 30 years. Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support.
In addition to supporting research programs with Vertex, the CF Foundation invests in the CF research programs of many leading pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Genzyme and Shire, to accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs that will help more people with CF.