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M. Scott Harris, M.D., Joins Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., as Chief Medical Officer

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, announced today that M. Scott Harris, M.D., has joined the company as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Ocera, Dr. Harris held the position of Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Napo Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Harris has extensive experience in gastrointestinal diseases as well as clinical and regulatory operations.

"We are delighted by Scott's addition to our team and find his academic credentials, clinical practice treating patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease and his clinical development experience to be a great fit for Ocera," stated Laurent Fischer, M.D., co-founder, President and CEO of Ocera Therapeutics. "Scott brings a wealth of experience in the gastroenterology space, with a particular focus in Crohn's disease as well as practical expertise in all stages of drug development and commercialization."

"Adding Scott to the team comes at a key time for the company as we approach the results of our pivotal Phase 3 trial for Crohn's disease," commented Eckard Weber, M.D., partner at Domain Associates, co-founder of Ocera and chairman of the board. "We look forward to his added guidance and expertise in this pivotal stage of the company's growth."

Dr. Harris has served in several clinical development and medical affairs roles within the industry. He was a principal and vice president of pharmaceutical research and development at Middleburg Consultants where he served as a clinical and regulatory consultant to pharmaceutical companies. He also served as the global director of clinical development for Otsuka America. Dr. Harris held senior-level positions at Abbott Laboratories and Schwarz Pharma, Inc.

"Ocera is an excellent example of a company with a focused development team that has efficiently advanced a much needed novel oral treatment for patients with fistulizing Crohn's disease," stated Dr. Harris. "I am impressed with the management team's achievements in bringing AST-120 through late-stage clinical trials in Crohn's disease and its ability to conduct exploratory trials for multiple gastrointestinal indications including Pouchitis, an orphan indication for which no treatments exist."

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 gastrointestinal 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

SOURCE Ocera Therapeutics, Inc.
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