The drug will be administered to patients who have developed symptoms of active disease after treatment with aminosalicylates.
About 270 patients will take part in the Phase II/III trial over a six-week period.
OP2000, discovered by Opocrin S.p.A, of Modena, Italy, is a subcutaneously administered ultra-low-molecular-weight heparin. It is derived from heparin by chemically breaking it down into smaller fractions.
The smaller fractions of heparin have lower molecular weight, and this may prove to have safety and efficacy advantages over heparin, developers Incara Pharmaceuticals said.
The drug has already been shown to be safe and well tolerated in trials with healthy volunteers and people with cardiovascular disease.
|The lower molecular weight OP2000 may have safety and efficacy advantages over heparin|
Dr David Ward, vice-president for research and development at Incara, said, "Many ulcerative colitis patients respond poorly to current treatments and are in need of effective new therapies.
"We are excited to begin this large clinical trial of OP2000, which has pharmacological properties very different from currently approved drugs for ulcerative colitis."
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