Shire's ( SHPGY) shares were rising Wednesday after the pharmaceuticals company said it received regulatory approval for its ulcerative colitis drug Lialda.

The stock gained 94 cents, or 1.5%, to $64.49 in early trading.

"As the first oral once-a-day treatment option for ulcerative colitis, the approval of Lialda in the United States is great news for patients and physicians when managing this serious condition," said Matthew Emmens, Shire's CEO, in a press release after the close of trading Tuesday.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause swelling and sores or ulcers in the large intestine. Current treatments often require patients to take their medication three to four times a day.

The Food and Drug Administration approval was based on two trials that showed that the drug effectively induced remission in patients with active, mild to moderate ulcerative colitis when compared with a placebo after eight weeks of treatment.

Shire expects to make Lialda available to patients in the first quarter.