SAN DIEGO, Sept. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ocera Therapeutics ( 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, 2013.
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