Following Ocera Therapeutics, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OCRX) Key Opinion Leader (KOL) conference call on hepatic encephalopathy and other complications of liver disease, Aegis Capital reiterated its ‘Buy’ rating and price target of $3 on shares of the company’s stock. The analyst noted the importance of OCR-002’s potential to reduce hospital stays by 1.5 days and believes that, combined with the IV formulation, the prospective savings for the hospitals could encourage them to adopt OCR-002 when available. Additionally, the company also recently initiated the dosing phase of its phase 1/2a trial of oral OCR-002 in cirrhosis. The end of phase 2 meeting for IV OCR-002 is expected in the third quarter of 2017, and data for the oral OCR-002 phase 2a study in cirrhotic patients is expected by year end.
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Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of OCR-002 (ornithine phenylacetate) in both intravenous and oral formulations. OCR-002 is an ammonia scavenger and has been granted orphan drug designation and Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hyperammonemia and resultant hepatic encephalopathy in patients with acute liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver disease. Ocera’s HE clinical development efforts also include a recently completed phase 2b clinical trial, STOP-HE, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of intravenously-administered (IV) OCR-002 in resolving neurocognitive symptoms of acute HE in hospitalized patients with elevated ammonia. The company is preparing to meet with the FDA later this year to review the IV OCR-002 program and discuss potential development paths forward.
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