The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today agreed to fund two CF drugs in Vertex Pharmaceuticals pipeline to the tune of $75 M. The deal is for 5 years and will support R&D activities on two drugs, VX-661 and VX-809. In return, the CF Foundation will also receive royalties on future drug sales.
VX-661 will enter phase II trials later this year and VX-809 is at an earlier stage of development. Both drugs seek to increase CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein function by increasing the protein's movment to the cell surface. Missing or defective CFTR proteins are the underlying cause of CF. See Fierce Biotech.
In February, Vertex announced good results with its CF drug VX-770 in a phase III trial conducted with a subtype of CF patients -- who account for about 4% who have the disease. Vertex expects to file an NDA on this drug later this year.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 8th 2011.