, which has two drug candidates undergoing clinical trials, has won three more U.S. patents for its technology that focuses on so-called small-molecule therapeutics.

Tranzyme is targeting internal disorders, such as gastroparesis (weak stomach) and post-operative ileus (POI), or blockage of the intestine.

The venture-backed firm said the three patents cover its “chemical structural class” development programs involving ghrelin agonists as well as its drug-discovery technology. Its lead product is known as TZP-101.

“The validation by the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] of the novelty of TZP-101 and its uses is another significant milestone in bringing new therapeutic options to market for the treatment of serious and costly unmet medical needs,” said Vipin Garg, Tranzyme’s chief executive officer.

“We expect this drug will become the first-line option for the treatment of POI, a condition for which nearly 1 million open surgical patients are at risk in the U.S. each year, as well as for other indications in acute settings where an intravenous prokinetic (digestive system) drug is required,” he added.

Tranzyme investors include H.I.G. Ventures, Quaker BioVentures and Thomas, McNerney & Partners and others.