|From left, one of the conference rooms at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is named Valium, researchers shared some thoughts at the Cambridge company, which has high hopes for a new drug to treat irritable bowel syndrome, and cofounder and senior vice president, Brian Cali, was at work — and on the treadmill. (Globe Staff photos by David L Ryan)|
Local labs are working to develop treatments for neurological disorders, multiple forms of cancer, and dozens of rare genetic diseases. But the next potential blockbuster drug to emerge from the Boston area may target a less fearsome condition that nonetheless afflicts 30 million to 40 million Americans: irritable bowel syndrome. Within the next few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration will decide whether an experimental drug called linaclotide can be approved for sale in the United States.