Cambridge, MA and Bethesda, MD, January 12, 2006 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT) today announced that they have extended their research collaboration. Under the extended agreement, CFFT will provide an additional $22 million to Vertex for continued research funding through early 2008 to further develop Vertex’s proprietary “corrector” compounds that act to restore the function of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (
“The expansion of this collaboration with Vertex underscores our belief that the development of small
“Vertex’s cystic fibrosis research program has yielded two innovative approaches for the treatment of this disease,” said Joshua Boger, Ph.D., Chairman, President and CEO of Vertex. “This research extension of the CFFT collaboration underscores our commitment to developing new treatments for this major unmet medical need and supports Vertex’s continued investment focus in this key therapeutic area.”
CF Drug Discovery
Using proprietary expertise in
Potentiator compounds may work by increasing the probability that the CFTR channel is open, which could result in an increase in chloride transport across the cell surface. Corrector compounds may work by increasing the number of CFTR channels on the cell surface. At the 16th Annual Williamsburg Conference in June 2004, Vertex researchers demonstrated the potential of both corrector and potentiator compounds to improve CFTR function
Vertex initiated its CF research program in May 2000 as part of a collaboration with CFFT, and expanded the agreement in May 2004. Under the extended agreement announced today, CFFT will provide to Vertex approximately $22 million in additional contracted payments for corrector research through the first quarter of 2008, with the first payment to be received in the first quarter of 2006. Vertex retains the right to develop and commercialize any compounds discovered under the agreement, and will pay CFFT royalties on net sales.
About Cystic Fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Cystic fibrosis is a
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, is a donor-supported, nonprofit organization committed to finding therapies and ultimately a cure for CF, and to improving the lives of those with the disease. For more information on CF and the programs of the CF Foundation, call (800) FIGHT CF or visit www.cff.org.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for serious diseases. The Company’s strategy is to commercialize its products both independently and in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies. Vertex’s product pipeline is principally focused on viral diseases, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and
Vertex Safe Harbor Statement
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements that (i) CFFT will provide an additional $22 million to Vertex for continued research funding through early 2008; (ii) small molecule agents have the potential to fundamentally change the treatment of the disease; and (iii) novel CF treatments discovered under this collaboration may provide new therapeutic options for CF patients. While management makes its best efforts to be accurate in making forward-looking statements, such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause Vertex’s actual results to vary materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the possibility the CFFT could terminate its financial support under the agreement without cause, risks that efforts to select and optimize development candidates may not proceed due to financial, technical, commercial or other reasons, that laboratory results may not be predictive of future clinical results for any compounds selected for human
Vertex’s press releases are available at www.vrtx.com.
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Michael Partridge, Director, Corporate Communications, (617) 444-6108
Lora Pike, Manager, Investor Relations, (617) 444-6755 Zachry Barber, Specialist, Media Relations, (617) 444-6470
CFFT/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Contact:
Carolyn Habbersett, Director, Medical Communications, (301) 907-2542