Corporate Funding Profile: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
HQ: Boston, MA (and other locations)
Employees: 2,300

Company Overview

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases. The company has R&D sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. In 2017, the company reported sales of about $2.5 billion and employed about 2,300 workers worldwide.

Giving: Vertex Giving Back

Vertex’s philanthropy is focused on giving back to the cystic fibrosis community and the cities and regions where its employees live and work through a combination of financial contributions, in‐kind support and employee volunteerism. The company directs the bulk of its giving to a handful of program areas that closely align with its business:

STEM Education

  • Vertex is committed to inspiring and equipping under-resourced students to become the next generation of scientific leaders. They have developed strong relationships with local education leaders, schools in our neighborhoods and students across our communities to help provide young people with a pathway to success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers.
  • Most notable of these is the company’s partnership with Boston Public Schools, which is served directly through Vertex’s Thomas M. Menino Learning Lab, a 3,000‐square‐foot classroom and laboratory space that provides hands‐on STEM opportunities to BPS students. The engagement involves class visits, after-school mentorship, and internships. In addition, Vertex offers its Science Leaders Scholarship, the equivalent of a four‐year full scholarship that is given to outstanding students looking to pursue an education in STEM at any University of Massachusetts campus.

Cystic Fibrosis Programs

  • Vertex has established programs to foster the pursuit of higher education, help people with CF live active lives, and support innovative clinical research that may improve the care of patients with CF. These include:
    • The Team Impact CF Project: Sponsorship matches kids living with life‐threatening, life‐shortening and chronic illnesses, such as CF, as honorary, active members of college athletic teams local to where they live. Each child is “signed” onto a team and becomes an official member of the team from their Draft Day through to graduation. Just as the child joins the athletic team, the student‐athletes join the child’s support team.
    • ALL in for CF Scholarship Program: Helps people with CF, and their families—including siblings, caregivers and children—in pursuing two‐year, four‐year or graduate degrees to offset the costs of attending college. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Vertex will award 85 scholarships of $5,000 to recipients in the U.S. and Canada. Applications are now available for submission by December 7, 2018
    • The Vertex Innovation AwardsThe VIAs support innovative and collaborative clinical research that may improve the care of patients with CF. For the 2017 VIA cycle, the independent VIA committee of external experts will select 1-3 projects to support with grants up to a total of €500,000 (Euros).
    • The Cystic Fibrosis Research Innovation Award: Highly competitive grants created to inspire and support the next generation of M.D.s and Ph.Ds. who are working to advance the understanding of CF and establish their careers as CF researchers. The awards fall into two categories: Independent and Mentored.
      • Independent Research Innovation Awards provide grants of $750,000 dispersed over three years to support newly independent faculty members as they establish their own research programs with outstanding promise in CF. Up to two awards will be given annually in this category.
      • Mentored Research Innovation Awards provide grants of up to $125,000 dispersed over two years to support mentored projects with established CF researchers. Up to four awards in this category will be given annually.
    • Circle of CareFunds innovative patient‐centric programs for the CF community. Deadline for submission: November 30, 2018. Research initiatives considered must focus on one or more of the following categories:
      • Help people with CF live a fuller, more engaged lifestyle.
      • Address the psycho‐social challenges patients face.
      • Improve the overall support of family members of patients.
      • Support patients in taking more ownership of their health care.
      • Enhance the education of patients, including topics on transition, adherence and navigating new environments.

Charitable Donations

Vertex supports certified nonprofit organizations with activities and programs
that enhance the following:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives and health
  • CF advocacy, community groups, academic institutions and medical
  • The local community, particularly by supporting organizations that
    aid underserved or disadvantaged populations

Vertex Foundation

501(c)(3) organization focused on providing patient and caregiver support including access to their medicines; expanding their commitment to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education; developing young physicians and scientists; and investing in their communities. The Foundation will be established with an initial contribution of $10 million and will launch in 2018.

The company also leverages the energy and generosity of its employees to improve its communities. Each year, Vertex employees participate in a global Day of Service in support of dozens of nonprofit organizations and schools in its communities. Many of the projects supported through this program are STEAM‐related, ranging from packaging science kits loaded with equipment and educational material for classrooms to going on‐site to schools to conduct mini science fairs with the goal of getting kids interested in science.

Profile updated: Oct 2018