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Now comes the hard part for Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

After launching two drugs aimed at nearly 40 percent of the 75,000 patients worldwide who suffer from cystic fibrosis, the biotech is mounting an assault on a range of mutations causing the obstructive lung disease in the remaining patients. Until the Vertex medicines hit the market, there was no treatment for the life-threatening condition, which causes serious lung infections that can result in respiratory failure.

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