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Ocera Announces Positive Phase 1 Results for Oral OCR-002 in Development for the Prevention of Chronic Hepatic Encephalopathy

PALO ALTO, Calif. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OCRX), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases, today announced positive results from the Company’s Phase 1 study of the oral formulation of OCR-002, ornithine phenylacetate, in healthy subjects. OCR-002 exhibited encouraging extended-release properties, demonstrated a desirable pharmacokinetic (PK) profile and was well-tolerated.

The open-label, single-dose, five-treatment, five-period crossover study evaluated the PK, safety and tolerability of three prototype, extended-release oral formulations of OCR-002 compared to an immediate release oral solution of OCR-002 and the ammonia-lowering agent, glycerol phenylbutyrate (RAVICTI®), a pre-pro-drug of phenylacetate, a component of OCR-002.

The results demonstrated a robust, extended-release pattern for all three pilot OCR-002 extended-release formulations, with mean plasma phenylacetate (PAA) concentrations exceeding those achieved with RAVICTI at all timepoints for at least 12 hours post-dose. In addition, mean plasma phenylacetylglutamine (PAGN) concentrations and urinary PAGN excretion were greater for all three OCR-002 extended release dosage forms than for RAVICTI at an equivalent molar PAA dose. PAGN is formed by conjugation of PAA with glutamine, an end product of the ammonia scavenging activity of PAA.

“We are extremely encouraged by both the PAA...