Vertex Awards $400K in Scholarships to CF Patients, Family Members

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals recently awarded $400,000 in scholarships for people living with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their family members, as part of its second “All in for CF” scholarship program.

The program awarded 80 scholarships worth $5,000 each, to allow more people to pursue higher education in the academic year of 2018-2019.

Vertex’s “All in for CF” scholarship program was established in 2017 to help CF patients and their immediate family members financial support to pursue two-year, four-year or graduate degrees.

The initiative is part of the company’s 10-year, $500 million commitment that nearly doubled the number of recipients from last year to allow more people in the CF community to further their education.

“From people living with cystic fibrosis returning to school following lung transplants, to brothers and sisters inspired by their sibling’s courageous fights, the determination of ‘All in for CF’ Scholarship recipients is remarkable,” Jeffrey Leiden, MD, PhD, chairman, president and CEO of Vertex, said in a press release. “They are examples of the many families who inspire us in our relentless pursuit to discover and develop transformative CF medicines.”

Each of the 80 recipients was chosen by an independent committee of CF community members, based on an essay and the applicant’s demonstrated level of community involvement, financial need, and academic achievement. The committee members were volunteers who donated their time.

“The Vertex ‘All in for CF’ Scholarship has been the difference between continuing my education and putting my studies on hold,” said Jenny Livingstone, who is living with CF and studying psychology at Utah State University. “I feel a deep gratitude for this scholarship because I don’t know that I would have graduated with my bachelor’s degree without it.”

Recipient profiles and their stories can be reviewed at the “All in for” CF webpage, where there also is criteria for applications for the 2019/2020 academic year.

In related news, Vertex recently announced the launch of a Phase 3 clinical trial program (AURORA) to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the therapeutic candidate VX-445 in combination with VX-661 (tezacaftor) and Kalydeco (ivacaftor) in CF.

The company also is recruiting participants for its Phase 3 ECLIPSE program testing the triple combination of VX-659 plus VX-661 and Kalydeco in CF patients (NCT03447249 and NCT03460990).