PALO ALTO, Calif. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OCRX), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases, today announced that it secured a $20 million debt facility from Oxford Finance LLC (Oxford) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Ocera intends to use the additional capital to support the ongoing development of the company’s novel molecule OCR-002 to treat acute and chronic patients with hepatic encephalopathy.
“This facility provides additional financial strength and flexibility at an attractive cost of capital with the initial $10 million tranche extending our cash runway to mid-2017,” said Michael Byrnes, chief financial officer of Ocera. “The second tranche of $10 million, if drawn, would extend our runway further, to the fourth quarter of 2017. Importantly, this debt financing should provide us with cash beyond some very meaningful milestones for both the IV and oral formulations of OCR-002. We are pleased to have the support of both Oxford and SVB and their confidence in Ocera and OCR-002.”
“We believe Ocera has a unique and innovative approach to treating hepatic encephalopathy, an area of high unmet medical need, and we are encouraged by the recently completed interim analysis in Ocera’s Phase 2b study evaluating OCR-002,” said Christopher A. Herr, senior managing director for Oxford Finance. “Oxford welcomes the opportunity to provide capital to support the ongoing development of Ocera’s research in this critical field.”
"We are very pleased to continue to work with the Ocera team and believe in their approach of tackling some of the greatest unmet needs in liver disease," said Jennifer Friel Goldstein, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank. "OCR-002 has continued to show strong signals of impact and we look forward to assisting the Ocera team with the full range of SVB resources available."
Under the terms of the two-tranche loan agreement, Ocera received $10 million upon closing on July 30, 2015, with the remaining $10 million available for draw until December 31, 2016 at Ocera’s discretion, subject to the achievement of certain financial and clinical milestones. The facility is in the form of a secured note, which is repayable in interest only installments over 18 months, with a 6 month extension upon the drawing of the second tranche. The note bears interest at a rate fixed at the funding date of each tranche. In addition, upon the funding of each tranche, Ocera will issue warrants to purchase shares of Ocera common stock equal to 4% of the funded amount. Additional details of the loan agreement, and a copy of the agreement itself, will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on a Current Report on Form 8-K and on our website.
Armentum Partners served as advisor to Ocera for this financing. Armentum has advised on more than 50 debt or royalty transactions since the beginning of 2014 representing roughly $1.2 billion in committed capital.
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. For additional information, please see ocerainc.com.
About Silicon Valley Bank
For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides targeted financial services and expertise through its offices in innovation centers around the world. With commercial, international and private banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. Forbes named SVB one of America’s best banks (2015) and one of America’s best-managed companies (2014). Learn more at svb.com.
Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB), and a member of the FDIC. Silicon Valley Bank and SVB Financial Group are members of the Federal Reserve System.
About Oxford Finance LLC
Oxford Finance is a specialty finance firm providing senior secured loans to public and private life sciences and healthcare services companies worldwide. For over 20 years, Oxford has delivered flexible financing solutions to its clients, enabling these companies to maximize their equity by leveraging their assets. In recent years, Oxford has originated over $2 billion in loans, with lines of credit ranging from $500 thousand to $75 million. Oxford is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with additional offices in California, Massachusetts and North Carolina. For more information visit oxfordfinance.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including, without limitation, all statements related to the OCR-002 clinical development program, including but not limited to the potential benefits of OCR-002 to help patients with hepatic encephalopathy, the timing of clinical milestones, the company’s cash balance projections, and the company’s expected use of proceeds from the debt facility described herein. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believe," "expected," "hope," "plan," "potential," "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Ocera's current expectations. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and Ocera's actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, including those risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Ocera's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and subsequent filings with the SEC. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Ocera undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
Source:Ocera Therapeutics, Inc.