(Jacksonville, Fla. - May 12, 2004) - Chris Fowler of Chris Fowler Racing is pleased to announce the signing of his first official supporting race sponsor, North Carolina-based Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Inspire is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing novel prescription products in disease areas with significant commercial markets and unmet medical needs. The company's goal is to build a sustainable pipeline of innovative new treatments based on its technical and scientific expertise in key therapy areas, with a focus on ophthalmology and respiratory.
Fowler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at six months old, and at age 28, is determined to become a major force in professional racing.
"I am excited to have Inspire Pharmaceuticals sign as my first supporting sponsor. Not only does the company support my dream of becoming a professional race car driver, but they also support CF and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I am encouraged by Inspire's latest CF research towards helping ease the effects of my disease," Fowler said.
CF is a genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic and life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion.
In April, Inspire Pharmaceuticals announced top-line results in a Phase II study of INS37217 Respiratory in patients with mild cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Inspire plans to present additional data from the study at the 18th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, which will be held in St. Louis in October.
"We're pleased to be able to support Chris in this endeavor and to help to build awareness about CF," stated Christy L. Shaffer, Inspire's CEO. "We wish Chris well in his racing career and in his efforts to bring greater attention and funding to CF research and the development of promising treatments. "
Fowler's previous racing record includes 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes in the
2002-03 Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Series. He has pledged to donate ten percent of his race winnings to the CF Foundation, headquartered in Bethesda, Md.. to support research towards a cure for CF.
According to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the U.S. Senate has declared May 2004 as the first-ever National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month to increase the public's knowledge and understanding of CF research and care programs. The month-long observation coincides with the CF Foundation's largest grassroots fund-raising event, GREAT STRIDES Walks, through which the organization hopes to raise at least $23 million for CF research and care programs. Fowler will serve as honorary chairperson for the Jacksonville Chapter of the CF Foundation's May 1, 2004, Great Strides Walk in Orange Park, Florida, as well as the May 15 Walk in Daytona Beach, Florida.
More information about Fowler is available at www.fowlerracing.com and Inspire Pharmaceuticals' Web site is at www.inspirepharm.com. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Web site is www.cff.org.