Around half of those people are age 18 or older.
Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said the discovery was a “cause for celebration.” Collins was part of the team that 30 years ago discovered the gene that mutates and causes the disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, the chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, said the drug therapy "corrects the function of a mutant protein" that causes the disease.
The new drug therapy comes with a high price tag. According to Vertex, the therapy will cost $311,000 a year.
“The price reflects a combination of factors, including efficacy of the medicine and its benefit to patients; the value of treating the underlying cause of CF, and our commitment to invest in the discovery and development of new medicines for those still waiting for a cure – and the resources needed to develop these medicines,” according to a statement from Vertex.
Vertex has a patient assistance program, called Vertex GPS, according to Cystic Fibrosis News Today. The program offers help to eligible patients in the U.S. who have been prescribed the medication.