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NEW YORK —A drug being developed to treat a fatal scarring of the lungs has succeeded in an important clinical trial and could become the first medicine to be approved for that disease, known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The drug, pirfenidone, slowed the decline in lung function in patients with the disease, according to an announcement Tuesday by the drug’s developer, InterMune. The company said it would apply to the Food and Drug Administration for approval of the drug early in the third quarter of this year.
The results “met or exceeded my expectations on every metric,” Daniel G. Welch, the chief executive of InterMune, told analysts Tuesday. The price of InterMune shares more than doubled in trading Tuesday.