Collaborations & Partnering
We are committed to building sustainable relationships across the scientific and business community that help us combine transformative advances in the understanding of human disease with the science of therapeutics to dramatically advance human health.
Collaboration Defines Our Culture
Vertex realizes that collaborating with the world’s experts is a cornerstone to solving some of science’s most difficult problems. It defines our culture.
- Externally, our collaborations with companies, academia, research organizations and nonprofit organizations help drive scientific innovation and the development of new medicines.
- Internally, it creates an environment that encourages the open exchange of ideas and provides the freedom for our talented employees to explore new scientific concepts. Our Vertex Opportunities for Intrapreneurship & Corporate Evolution (VOICE) program is a great example. Check it out here.
Our goal is to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases with a high unmet medical need. To support this mission, we seek external partnerships that promote scientific innovation. We believe that innovation should not be limited to opportunities based on specific stages of development or particular treatment modalities, but instead, focused on creating relationships that are grounded in deep biological knowledge of the disease and target. Current priorities include:
- Supporting our cystic fibrosis strategy of bringing the best medicines to patients through accessing external assets that complement our existing research efforts and clinical assets.
- Diversifying our portfolio with transformative medicines in diseases with a high unmet need.
- Leveraging cutting-edge technology platforms to accelerate the discovery of new disease targets, compounds, delivery mechanisms and treatment modalities.
- Maximizing the potential of our internal assets by using strategic collaborations and licensing opportunities to enable speedy and thorough development.
We welcome inquiries about establishing new collaborations involving both preclinical and development-stage assets, as well as drug discovery and development technologies. We are actively exploring all approaches that may change the treatment of a serious disease where no adequate treatment currently exists. In addition to cystic fibrosis, the following are diseases of further research interest:
- Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD)
- Sickle Cell Disease and Beta Thalassemia
- APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease
We are also seeking platform technologies that will enable exploration of new diseases or disease targets.
Interested in partnering with us?
At Vertex, we value developing mutually beneficial strategic relationships. Our approach is to create successful partnerships with well-articulated deal principles and value propositions. Our portfolio of alliances consists of a variety of collaboration models to meet different needs of our partners.
Our Alliance Management function works to maximize the value of the collaboration across both organizations. We view our strategic partnerships as a key component of our overall corporate strategy. As a result, we are empowered to advocate for the needs of our partners with continued focus on the alignment of our common goals. Alliance Management creates a seamless and efficient decision-making process by providing access to key decision-makers. This fosters an environment of open and continuous communication between Vertex and its partners to ensure success in meeting our goals. We are continually evaluating our procedures and processes to improve outcomes for our partners.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
In 1998, Vertex initiated its cystic fibrosis research program in connection with its collaborative relationship with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Ivacaftor and lumacaftor were discovered by Vertex as part of this collaboration.
Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics began a research collaboration in October of 2015 focused on the use of CRISPR’s gene editing technology, known as CRISPR-Cas9, to discover and develop potential new treatments aimed at the underlying genetic causes of human disease. The collaboration will evaluate the use of CRISPR-Cas9 across multiple diseases where targets have been validated through human genetics. Vertex and CRISPR will focus their initial gene editing research on discovering potential treatments to address the mutations and genes known to cause and contribute to cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. Vertex and CRISPR will also evaluate a specified number of other genetic targets as part of the collaboration. Vertex will have exclusive rights to license up to six new CRISPR-Cas9-based treatments that emerge from the collaboration.
Vertex and Moderna began a research collaboration in July 2016 aimed at the discovery and development of messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) Therapeutics for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). The three-year collaboration will focus on research of the use of mRNA therapies to treat the underlying cause of CF by enabling cells in the lungs to produce functional copies of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, which is known to be defective in people with CF. Through the collaboration, the companies will explore the potential utilization of pulmonary mRNA delivery.