Two weeks ago, the approval of OrkambiTM was one of the happiest days of my life. It was an important milestone in a personal journey that began 39 years ago when I first met a very impressive group of CF families while I was still working at
The approvals of KalydecoTM and Orkambi have been among the most significant milestones in the journey toward a permanent cure. Through the years, we have been able to celebrate some key victories. When I first met those families, the median life expectancy for children with CF was less than 18 years of age. Today, the average survival is more than 40 years and, for the first time, more than 50 percent of the CF population is older than 18. Impressive progress! I feel lucky to have participated in advancing what will be one of the most important stories in 21st century medicine.
Looking back, I feel fortunate to have worked side by side with talented and passionate colleagues in Bethesda and in chapters throughout the country. I also have truly appreciated the support of many dedicated members of our wider CF community who share our vision of curing CF.
While I plan to continue to contribute to the Foundation's efforts, I am stepping down as president and CEO of the Foundation effective no later than December 31, 2015. My friend and colleague Preston W. Campbell, III, M.D., executive vice president of medical affairs, will become the next president and CEO at that time. We will work to create a smooth transition and make sure the momentum we all feel today will continue into the future.
I will be forever grateful for how deeply you have touched my life. I give thanks to each of you for the important role you have played in this miraculous journey so far.
Robert J. Beall, Ph.D.
President and CEO