Teaching Plan | HBS Case Collection | October 2012

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Venture Philanthropy Funding for Biotech (TP)

by Robert F. Higgins

Abstract

This is the teaching note related to HBS case 808005. In 2001, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated acquired the San Diego-based biotech company, Aurora Biosciences. The combination of Vertex's and Aurora's technologies would improve the flow of novel drug candidates into development. However, several questions related to the integration of Aurora into Vertex were still unresolved, the most pressing being Aurora's major collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Were venture philanthropy and foundation deals an appropriate funding mechanism for a public company like Vertex?

Keywords: venture philanthropy; biotechnology; funding philanthropy venture; venture capital; cystic fibrosis; foundations; Pharmaceuticals; Mergers and Acquisitions; For-Profit Firms; Venture Capital; Giving and Philanthropy; Science-Based Business; Nonprofit Organizations; Pharmaceutical Industry; Biotechnology Industry; United States; San Diego;

Citation:

Higgins, Robert F. "Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Venture Philanthropy Funding for Biotech (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 813-021, October 2012.