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University of Iowa News Release

 

July 24, 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY: Vertex Pharmaceuticals opens new laboratory at UI BioVentures Center

WHAT: The University of Iowa Research Park and Vertex Pharmaceuticals are hosting a laboratory opening event for Vertex's expansion to the UI BioVentures Center business incubator.

WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 29; program begins at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: UI BioVentures Center, 2500 Crosspark Road, UI Research Park, Coralville, Iowa

WHO: Vertex, UI and community officials will speak about Vertex's recent move to the BioVentures Center.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a 1,400-person, global, biotechnology company committed to the discovery and development of breakthrough drugs for serious diseases.  Vertex has four research and development sites, including its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Vertex's Iowa-based team of seven full-time scientists is focused on research activities for treatment of bacterial infections and also supports the company's activities in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).  Telaprevir is Vertex's lead investigational therapy for the treatment of HCV.  Vertex scientists based in Iowa played key roles in early development activities for telaprevir. In addition to HCV, Vertex's product pipeline is focused on other infectious diseases, cystic fibrosis, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancer and pain. Vertex co-discovered the HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva, with GlaxoSmithKline.

The Vertex site in Iowa has been located in UI Technology Innovation Center since 1998 and was originally known as Quorum Sciences before being acquired by Vertex.  The Vertex site recently relocated to a portion of the BioVentures Center, a 35,000-square-foot business incubator that provides wet lab and office space for biotech companies.  

"Our new facility at the BioVentures Center of the University of Iowa was designed to meet our specific technology needs and will provide the team with new technologies and capabilities to support our future growth," said Ute Müh, associate director and site head for Vertex's Iowa site.  "We look forward to our future work at the BioVentures Center and to the supportive environment that the university offers."

Vertex is the sixth company to locate at the BioVentures Center, said Tom Sharpe, associate vice president for economic development at the UI. "We're pleased to have Vertex as one of the family of companies in the BioVentures Center.  They are an impressive company with an impressive staff who are doing valuable research for disease treatment."

For more information about the UI Research Park and the BioVentures Center, see http://enterprise.uiowa.edu/researchpark. For more information on Vertex, see http://www.vrtx.com/.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ute Muh, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Ute_Muh@vrtx.com; Zachry Barber, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, 617-444-6470, Zachry_Barber@vrtx.com; Thomas Sharpe, UI Research Park, thomas-sharpe@uiowa.edu; George McCrory, UI News Services, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu