Glycomed Inc. on Tuesday said it has filed an investigationalnew drug application to begin Phase I trials of its first product,Galardin MPI.

The Alameda, Calif., company said the filing came more than amonth ahead of its forecast. Its stock (NASDAQ:GLYC) rose 13cents to $11.13.

Galardin is designed to treat corneal ulcers, which may becaused by viral and bacterial infection; injury to the eye, suchas chemical burn; neurological and autoimmunological diseases,including rheumatoid arthritis; or complications arising fromthe improper use of extended-wear contact lenses.

About 25 percent of corneal ulcers caused by bacteria aren'thealed using antibiotics. Other corneal ulcers are currently nottreatable.

When the eye is infected or injured, enzymes from bacteria andthe body's own defenses break down the lattice of supportmaterial between the cells of the cornea. Galardin is a smallmolecule that inhibits proteoglycanase, an enzyme thatdegrades proteoglycan-containing complex carbohydrates inthe lattice, and collagenases, which break down collagen.

Galardin is designed to be used with topical antibiotics orseparately. The treatment will be in eye-drop form.

The company plans to field its own sales force for the drug,which has orphan designation. Persistent corneal ulcers affectabout 159,000 U.S. patients annually, and the companyestimates Galardin's market potential at $100 million annually,said William Anderson, chief financial officer. -- KB

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