Maintaining a ‘Buy’ rating on Ocera Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OCRX), Aegis Capital has lowered its price target on the company’s stock to $3 from $8. Ocera yesterday reported top-line results from its exploratory STOP-HE phase 2b study of OCR-002 in hospitalized patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). OCR-002 missed its primary endpoint, though results show dose-dependent clinical improvement. “The patients at the higher doses (15 and 20 grams) had faster clinical improvement and greater complete response rates compared to the patients on the lowest dose (10 grams) and those on placebo. These findings will be integral in determining dose levels for future studies. We want to thank the patients and their families, caregivers and investigators for their support and participation in STOP-HE,” Ocera CEO Linda Grais, M.D. stated in the news release.
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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 (HE) in patients with acute liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver disease. Ocera’s HE clinical development efforts also include a recently completed phase 1 clinical trial in patients with cirrhosis as a potential chronic use option to maintain remission of HE. The company expects to initiate a multi-dose phase 2a study, also in cirrhotic patients, in the first half of 2017. For additional information, please see www.ocerainc.com.
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