Healthcare Industry News: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
News Release - February 20, 2008
Ocera Therapeutics Closes $35.5 Million Series C FinancingFunds will support Phase 3 Trials for Crohn's Disease, Pouchitis and Other Pipeline Products
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 20 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Ocera Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the licensing, development and commercialization of proprietary compounds to treat a broad range of gastrointestinal and liver diseases, has announced the completion of a $35.5 million Series C financing from a syndicate of highly-regarded investors.
New investor Montagu Newhall Associates is leading the round and is joined by InterWest Partners; AgeChem Venture Fund; Cross Creek Capital, an affiliate of Wasatch Advisors; FinTech and CDIB BioScience. Previous investors, Domain Associates, Sofinnova Ventures, and Thomas, McNerney & Partners, also participated in the round. To date, Ocera has raised a total of $62 million. In conjunction with the financing, Linda Grais of InterWest Partners will take a seat on the Ocera Board of Directors representing Montagu Newhall Associates and the Series C investors.
"I am extremely pleased with the investor confidence we've seen from this oversubscribed financing round," commented Laurent Fischer, M.D., co-founder, president and CEO of Ocera Therapeutics. "We are privileged to have attracted a syndicate of renowned investors with specific expertise in the gastrointestinal market as well as international and crossover investors and we welcome Linda Grais' guidance as she joins our board of directors."
Linda Grais M.D., J.D., is a partner with InterWest Partners and brings a wide array of experience to the team. Prior to InterWest, Dr. Grais served as founder and executive vice president of SGX Pharmaceuticals and was an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Before practicing law, Dr. Grais worked as an assistant clinical professor of Internal Medicine and Critical Care at the University of California, San Francisco. She also served as a consultant to the Institute of Medicine and is a member of the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors.
"Ocera Therapeutics is a unique biopharmaceutical company which has achieved bringing AST-120 through Phase 3 trials for Crohn's disease in a very short time and in a capital efficient manner," commented Ashton Newhall, general partner, Montagu Newhall Associates. "Our confidence in the ability of Ocera's management team to deliver on its goals and expand the market opportunity for this product by focusing on orphan drug as well as other indications with unmet medical needs makes this an exciting opportunity. We look forward to upcoming milestones related to AST-120."
AST-120 Spherical Adsorbent Carbon is not absorbed in the body. It was in-licensed in 2005 from Kureha of Japan. Ocera has completed enrollment in FHAST1, the Fistula Healing with AST-120 Phase 3 pivotal trial in Fistulizing Crohn's disease conducted in North America, Europe and Israel. Ocera is studying AST-120 in a Phase 2 trial for Pouchitis, an orphan drug indication, and has also initiated proof-of-concept trials in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hepatic Encephalopathy and PPI-resistant GERD.
About Ocera Therapeutics
Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the licensing, development and commercialization of proprietary compounds to treat a broad range of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Based in San Diego, Ocera was co-founded by Dr. Eckard Weber of Domain Associates and Dr. Laurent Fischer. The Company is pursuing the development of AST-120, a "pipeline-in-a-drug" for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Crohn's and Pouchitis and exploring its potential to treat other gastro-intestinal and liver diseases. Ocera Therapeutics has raised $62 million dollars in venture financing from Montagu Newhall Associates; InterWest Partners; AgeChem Venture Fund; Cross Creek Capital, an affiliate of Wasatch Advisors; FinTech; CDIB BioScience; Domain Associates; Sofinnova Ventures and Thomas, McNerney & Partners. Additional information on the Company can be found at http://www.oceratherapeutics.com.
Source: Ocera Therapeutics
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