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Over the past 30 years, Vertex has nearly conquered cystic fibrosis. Its latest drug, launched last year, represents a functional cure for about 90% of patients with the serious genetic lung disease.
The next chapter for the $70 billion Boston biotech will tackle other diseases and be led by a new CEO. Reshma Kewalramani, MD, took over the top spot in April, making history as the first female CEO of a biotech giant.
She aims to lead Vertex in transforming or curing two, three, or four more diseases in the next decade.
"I would love to do what we’ve done in cystic fibrosis multiple times, and I see that as entirely possible,” Kewalramani tells Business Insider.
Vertex is now advancing medicines to treat genetic liver diseases, diabetes, and muscle-wasting diseases. The company is running the first gene-editing studies in humans, attempting to cure two genetic blood disorders in sickle-cell disease and beta thalassemia.
While many biotechs specialize in a certain technology, like gene therapy or CRISPR, Vertex is agnostic to what platforms it uses. With ongoing programs in cell therapy, gene editing, and gene therapy, Vertex is primed to create the next generation of drugs.
"We go after diseases, and we use whichever tools are necessary to transform or cure that disease,” Kewalramani adds.