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Ocera Therapeutics licenses novel treatment for acute hepatic encephalopathy from UCLB
Date:4/1/2009

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Cirrhosis, which can cause AHE, occurs due to a variety of causes such as hepatitis B and C infection, alcohol, and fatty liver associated with obesity and diabetes. It is estimated that there are up to 1 million cirrhosis patients in the U.S. Acute liver failure is a life threatening condition in otherwise healthy patients and is most commonly caused by an overdose of paracetamol (acetaminophen in the U.S.).

Other causes include reactions to other drugs, herbs, or acute hepatitis. AHE is one of the common complications of cirrhosis and acute liver failure, and up to150,000 patients are hospitalised in the U.S. each year.

"We are pleased to have licensed this breakthrough treatment for patients hospitalised with acute hepatic encephalopathy," said Dr. Laurent Fischer, President and CEO of Ocera Therapeutics. "By directly reducing blood levels of ammonia, OCR-002 has the potential not only to improve symptoms of encephalopathy but may also help to reverse this life-threatening condition and reduce healthcare costs by minimising a patient's time in intensive care."

"There is a significant unmet clinical need to treat hepatic encephalopathy which affects 40-60 percent of patients with established liver disease," stated Professor Rajiv Jalan M.D. "Unlike UCL-L1V, none of the currently available treatments directly lowers circulating levels of ammonia. The partnership with Ocera is a significant step towards bringing this potentially lifesaving discovery to patients."

Mr. Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB said, "This is a significant deal for UCL Business. I am delighted that Ocera is licensing the technology from us. In Ocera, we have found the perfect development and commercialisation partner. They specialise in liver and gastrointestinal drug development and have a demonstrated track record. I am excited to enter this relationship to tap into their extensive experience to bring this technology to ma
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Contact: Ruth Metcalfe
r.metcalfe@gmail.com
44-020-767-99739
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

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