Drug maker Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc. said that it has met its goal by successfully completing the final stage trial of its drug to treat cystic fibrosis, a disease that produces thick, sticky mucus in the lungs.

According to Inspire patients treated with denufosol showed an improvement in their ability to blow air from their lungs compared with those on placebo.

The company said data from an extension of the study examining safety; a second late-stage trial and a two-year study examining whether the drugs may promote cancer are needed before an application for approval can be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.

Denufosol is designed to improve the lungs' ability to moisten their mucus surfaces and better clear out bacteria and viruses, improving breathing.