BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 7, 2020-- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced that the Vertex Foundation, a nonprofit charitable foundation, commits to make donations totaling $5 million in 2020 to support global COVID-19 relief efforts, including doubling its match for employees’ charitable donations to eligible organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vertex Foundation’s funds will help organizations that are providing emergency relief and assistance in the global communities where Vertex employees live and work, with a focus on providing health care and supplies and support for vulnerable populations.
“The Vertex Foundation’s immediate priority is to address the unprecedented needs of our local communities resulting from COVID-19. We are focused on providing funding to organizations that can provide immediate access to health care and health supplies — including testing and personal protective equipment — in hard-hit countries, and those who are working on-the-ground to provide vulnerable populations with food, care and education,” said Michael Parini, Chairman of the Vertex Foundation and Executive Vice President and Chief Legal, Administrative and Business Development Officer at Vertex.
Essential Health Care and Health Supplies
The Vertex Foundation today announced that it has committed $1 million to Direct Relief, an organization dedicated to providing essential supplies for health workers, such as critical personal protective equipment, N-95 masks, battery powered oxygen concentrators and ventilators. The Foundation’s donation will help establish Direct Relief’s European relief efforts, including in UK, Spain, France and Germany, and help the organization expand its response in the U.S.
“Direct Relief is deeply grateful to the Vertex Foundation for their generosity in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts in the U.S. and allowing us to ramp up our efforts in Europe,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “Their significant commitment in this challenging time is greatly appreciated.”
In addition, the Vertex Foundation is also supporting the following organizations to help provide essential health care and health supplies:
- Partners HealthCare in Boston, to support an integrated COVID-19 response including delivering patient testing across the community and through donations of the company’s personal protective equipment;
- CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, to provide enhanced public health laboratory capacity, develop and deploy technology tools, and support state and local health departments;
- French Red Cross (Croix Rouge), to support on-the-ground front-line response and humanitarian relief efforts to enhance the government’s response in France;
- Scripps Health Foundation in San Diego, to support their drive-through testing centers and fully fund one center for five weeks; and
- EMERGENCY Ong Onlus in Italy, to provide medical care to the most vulnerable populations in the Lombardy region of Italy, where the crisis is severe.
Support for Vulnerable Populations
Last month, the Vertex Foundation donated $1 million to help establish the Boston Resiliency Fund, which is coordinating fundraising and philanthropic efforts to assist Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The outpouring of support and generosity that we've seen from our private and philanthropic partners as we navigate these difficult times together has been tremendous,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Jeff Leiden and the Vertex Foundation were instrumental in getting the Boston Resiliency Fund off the ground to support our frontline workers and our residents most in need, and I thank them for their continued efforts and for going above and beyond to support relief efforts for our residents.”
In addition, the Vertex Foundation announced today that it has made additional donations to the following organizations around the world to provide essential community support for vulnerable populations — specifically food, care and education:
- The Trussell Trust in the UK, to support its nationwide network of food banks and provide emergency food and support needed because of COVID-19; to build on and support the development of a national helpline and referral system to enable food banks to meet increased demand for emergency food;
- Crisis in the UK, to help with on-the-ground support for the homeless including “essentials” packages of food, tissues and hand sanitizers;
- Age UK, to support older people, particularly those ages 70 and older, who are worst hit by the pandemic physically and emotionally;
- Caritas in Spain, to provide home delivery of food to elderly and support homeless shelters and health needs in Madrid;
- Les Restos du Coeur in France, to support food distribution to the neediest and provide hygiene products to volunteers distributing the food;
- Cesvi in Italy, to provide at-home health and food to the elderly in Bergamo and Brescia;
- Feeding San Diego, to provide healthy food through emergency food distribution centers and provide food to San Diego students who rely on free meals;
- Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, to support its COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley;
- The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, to provide 400,000 meals for its emergency feeding programs across Hampden, Hampshire, Berkshire and Franklin counties; and
- United Way of Greater Fall River, to support its COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts across the Southcoast Massachusetts community.
About The Vertex Foundation
The Vertex Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation. It seeks to improve the lives of people with serious diseases and in its communities through education, innovation and health programs. Established in 2017, the Foundation is a long-term source of charitable giving and is part of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ corporate giving commitment. To learn more about the Vertex Foundation, visit https://www.vrtx.com/responsibility/vertex-foundation.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust pipeline of investigational small molecule medicines in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including pain, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and APOL1-mediated kidney diseases. In addition, Vertex has a rapidly expanding pipeline of genetic and cell therapies for diseases such as sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's global headquarters is now located in Boston'sInnovation District and its international headquarters is in London, UK. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including 10 consecutive years on Science magazine's Top Employers list and top five on the 2019 Best Employers for Diversity list by Forbes. For company updates and to learn more about Vertex's history of innovation, visit www.vrtx.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.