Acceleron Pharma has initiated a Phase I clinical study of ACE-536, a ligand trap that increases red blood cells and haemoglobin by inhibiting members of the TGF-beta super family for the treatment of anaemia.

The multiple-dose, dose-escalating Phase I study is designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ACE-536.

Acceleron CEO John Knopf said ACE-536 is their fourth internally discovered, developed and manufactured drug to enter human clinical trials in the past five years.

The company will receive a $7.5m payment from Celgene for progressing the study.