Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT), the nonprofit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, has agreed to a $14 million expansion of its three-year-old research collaboration with Genzyme, a Sanofi company, aimed at developing new treatments for people with the most common CF mutation, F508del.

The expanded agreement, as with the original accord, will support R&D programs intended to identify correctors that could potentially fix the defective CFTR protein in people with CF.

CFFT and Genzyme launched their original research collaboration in November 2011, without disclosing the value of that partnership. The initial partnership resulted in discovery of several compounds that were found to help the defective CFTR protein move to the cell surface.

None of those compounds appear on the foundation’s “drug development pipeline” list of CFTR-modulation compounds in clinical phases—a list anchored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ now-marketed Kalydeco™ (ivacaftor). Genzyme says its cystic fibrosis compounds are among several genetic disease treatments the company has in preclinical phases.

“Genzyme’s capabilities and resources will help the CF Foundation accelerate its effort to find drugs to treat the most common mutation in CF and have the greatest impact on those with this disease,” Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, said in a statement.

During the collaboration’s expansion phase, Genzyme will focus on further developing select compounds to advance them into CF clinical trials.

According to the partners, nearly 90% of people with CF have at least one copy of F508del. The mutation causes a folding problem in the defective protein that disrupts its movement to the surface of the cell, where it is needed to regulate the flow of salt and fluids in and out of the cell.

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