Vertex Pharmaceuticals said on Tuesday that a combination of two of its drugs had successfully treated cystic fibrosis in closely watched clinical trials, potentially clearing the way for approval of a new option for nearly half the patients with the genetic disease.

The drug combination, when compared with a placebo, improved the lung function of patients and also reduced pulmonary flare-ups, which can lead to hospitalization.

“These data, the totality and the consistency, were as much or more than we were hoping for,” Dr. Jeffrey M. Leiden, the chief executive of Vertex.

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