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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Cambridge today released results of a Phase 3 study of its VX-770 drug candidate for a specific type of cystic fibrosis (CF) that showed a relative mean improvement in lung function of about 17 percent over placebo.

The study of 161 patients in more than 65 sites globally showed that with a single oral dose of the drug, patients were 55 percent less likely to experience a pulmonary exacerbation, or temporary worsening of lung function. They also gained nearly seven pounds. The drug targets a defective protein in a CF gene known as G551D.

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