Ocera Announces Post-Merger Closure of Quebec Research Site
Company to Focus on Phase 2b Development of OCR-002
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocera Therapeutics
(Nasdaq:OCRX), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on acute
and chronic orphan liver diseases, today announced a restructuring plan
involving the closure of operations in its Sherbrooke, Quebec facility
effective November 11, 2013. The Sherbrooke facility housed 17 employees and
research operations leveraging the Company's proprietary chemistry technology
platform, MATCH (Macrocyclic Template Chemistry), used to develop novel
pre-clinical and clinical stage product candidates. Ocera will retain full
rights to this technology.
The goal of the restructuring plan is to enable Ocera to focus management and
financial resources on advancing its lead product candidate, OCR-002
(ornithine phenylacetate), in clinical trials for the treatment of hepatic
encephalopathy associated with acute and chronic liver disease. Ocera expects
to commence Phase 2b clinical trials of OCR-002 during the fourth quarter,
Ocera is the combined company following the merger of Tranzyme, Inc. and Ocera
Therapeutics, Inc., a private company, on July 15, 2013. The Sherbrooke
facility was part of the original Tranzyme operations prior to the merger.
"We are very excited that OCR-002 has been granted Orphan Disease and Fast
Track status from FDA, and that we are approaching the point where we will be
ready to commence patient enrollment in our Phase 2b trial. This post-merger
closure helps support our clinical programs by streamlining operations to
focus on developing OCR-002 for acute and chronic treatment of hepatic
encephalopathy," said Linda Grais, chief executive officer of Ocera. "I want
to thank Dr. Helmut Thomas and his team at Sherbrooke for their excellent
scientific work and for supporting several collaborative research programs in
the past. I wish them all well in their future endeavors."
Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused
on the development and commercialization of proprietary compounds to treat
acute and chronic orphan liver diseases. Ocera's lead drug candidate OCR-002
(ornithine phenylacetate), which has been granted Orphan Disease and Fast
Track status from FDA, is an ammonia scavenger in clinical development to
treat hyperammonemia and associated hepatic encephalopathy in patients with
liver cirrhosis, acute liver failure and acute liver injury. For additional
information, please see www.ocerainc.com.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995, including statements regarding the progress and timing of clinical
trials and statements regarding the expected timing of the restructuring plan
as well as the reduction in workforce at the Sherbrooke Facility. Typically,
these statements contain words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect",
"plan", "intend", "project", "estimate" and similar expressions. These and
other forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release and
are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties and other important factors
that may cause Ocera's actual results, performance, or achievements to differ
materially from those anticipated, expressed, or implied by forward-looking
statements. Additional risks and uncertainties are described more fully in
Ocera's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 filed on August 14, 2013
with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Please note that Ocera undertakes
no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements included herein.
CONTACT: Susan Sharpe
Ocera Therapeutics, Inc.
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