Pharmaxis Ltd. (ASX: PXS) shares got a boost today with the company announcing that the Federal Government’s Pharmacy Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) had provided verbal confirmation that it has recommended that one of Pharmaxis’ drugs be added to the subsidised Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, or PBS, after the drug was knocked back by the PBAC last November.

Bronchitol is Pharmaxis’ treatment for cystic fibrosis, a disease affecting 2,800 Australians. According to the company, Bronchitol is the first new medication (other than antibiotics) to be recommended for PBS listing in 15 years.

There are still a few hoops to jump through before Bronchitol is listed on the PBS. PBAC recommendations have been knocked back or delayed in the past, and the PBAC recommendation needs to pass the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA) process before it can be finalised.

Assuming the company can clear these hurdles, it will represent another step forward in its respiratory drug development pipeline. The company hopes to bring Bronchitol to market in the US and Europe, having the drug in trial and registration phase for two distinct applications, and has other respiratory treatments in early development.

Investors certainly cheered this latest development today, with shares up around 9% through most of the trading day.

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Scott Phillips is a Motley Fool investment analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFGilla. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691).

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