Business

Vertex stock rises after Australia OK’s cystic fibrosis drug

Kalydeco’s the first drug for the underlying cause of CF in people with a particular mutation.
Kalydeco’s the first drug for the underlying cause of CF in people with a particular mutation.

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Cambridge-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Kalydeco drug for cystic fibrosis was approved by Australian regulators. Kalydeco, cleared by US regulators in February 2012, targets the cause of the disease in about 4 percent of the US patient population — those with a specific genetic mutation — helping them produce mucus to absorb and digest food. Life-threatening CF affects about 70,000 people worldwide. In April, investors bid up Vertex shares to a record high after clinical data appeared to dramatically improve the prospects of Vertex’s plan to build a portfolio of CF drugs.

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