Today's announcement follows a comprehensive benefit assessment of the
medicine by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), which recognized
the "considerable additional benefit" of ORKAMBI for people with CF who
have two copies of the F508del mutation. ORKAMBI has been available to
eligible patients in
"Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease, meaning that with each
passing day, lung function can deteriorate and patients get sicker,"
In addition to
About ORKAMBI® (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) and the F508del mutation
In people with two copies of the F508del mutation, the CFTR protein is not processed and trafficked normally within the cell, resulting in little-to-no CFTR protein at the cell surface. Patients with two copies of the F508del mutation are easily identified by a simple genetic test.
ORKAMBI is a combination of lumacaftor, which is designed to increase the amount of mature protein at the cell surface by targeting the processing and trafficking defect of the F508del-CFTR protein, and ivacaftor, which is designed to enhance the function of the CFTR protein once it reaches the cell surface. ORKAMBI is available as tablets and is typically taken twice per day.
For complete product information, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics that can be found on www.ema.europa.eu.
CF is a rare, life-shortening genetic disease affecting approximately
75,000 people in
CF is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF. There are approximately 2,000 known mutations in the CFTR gene. Some of these mutations, which can be determined by a genetic test, or genotyping test, lead to CF by creating non-working or too few CFTR proteins at the cell surface. The defective function or absence of CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cell in a number of organs. In the lungs, this leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage in many patients that eventually leads to death. The median age of death is in the mid-to-late 20s.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that aims to discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines so people with serious diseases can lead better lives. In addition to our clinical development programs focused on cystic fibrosis, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs aimed at other serious and life-threatening diseases.
Founded in 1989 in
Collaborative History with
Vertex initiated its CF research program in 2000 as part of a
collaboration with CFFT, the nonprofit drug discovery and development
affiliate of the
Special Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined in
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended,
including the quote in the third paragraph of this press release and
statements regarding the country-by-country reimbursement approval
process. While the company believes the forward-looking statements
contained in this press release are accurate, there are a number of
factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially
from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Those risks and
uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to
commercializing ORKAMBI and the other risks listed under Risk Factors in
Vertex's annual report and quarterly reports filed with the
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