Watch Live

Tweet TWEET

Senator Michael Bennet Receives Breath of Life Legislator Award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

 Senator Michael Bennet Receives Breath of Life Legislator Award from Cystic
                             Fibrosis Foundation

PR Newswire

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 3, 2013

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --U.S. Senator Michael
Bennet (D-Colo.) received the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Breath of Life
Legislator Award for his work to help improve the health and quality of life
for people with cystic fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's
leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease
that affects 30,000 children and adults in the United States, and 70,000
people worldwide.

"Senator Bennet is a champion for the cystic fibrosis community and we are
lucky to have him in our corner," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and
CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "His success in advocating for cystic
fibrosis research, drug development and access to care has helped advance our
mission to find a cure for CF." 

Bennet sponsored a bill in Congress in 2012 that led the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to create a new process that designates treatments as
"breakthrough therapies." This designation is intended to speed the
development of select potential therapies that treat life-threatening diseases
or conditions.

The first treatment to receive this new designation was the combination of
Kalydeco™ (ivacaftor) and a potential drug known as VX-809. Kalydeco,
developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and approved in January 2012, is the first
therapy to treat the root cause of cystic fibrosis for a small subset of the
CF population. The combination of Kalydeco and VX-809, which targets the
genetic defect for a larger portion of those with CF, is in late-stage
clinical trials.

"We are grateful for Senator Bennet's leadership and dedication to fighting
for people with cystic fibrosis and working to accelerate the development of
lifesaving therapies for this devastating disease," said Frank Accurso, M.D.,
director of cystic fibrosis clinical research at Children's Hospital Colorado
and University of Colorado Denver.

Earlier this year, Bennet led a dozen colleagues in an effort to revise a
proposed rule that could limit the ability of many people with CF to access
Social Security disability benefits. Thanks to this outreach, the Social
Security Administration took the unusual step of hosting a teleconference for
the CF community. This provided an important opportunity for further
discussion about the proposed rule's impact.

This is the second Breath of Life award given by the CF Foundation to a member
of Congress. The first was presented in 2007 to then-Congressman Edward Markey
(D-Mass.), founder of the Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus and long-time
advocate for those with CF.

SOURCE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Website: http://www.cff.org