Ocera Therapeutics Inc (OCRX) Provides 2Q:17 Financial Update


Ocera Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:OCRX) reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

“We’ve enjoyed a busy quarter preparing to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year regarding the design of the next clinical study for our ammonia scavenger OCR-002,” said Linda Grais, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ocera. “The meeting with FDA will focus on the intravenous formulation of OCR-002 which we are developing to treat hospitalized patients with elevated ammonia and neurocognitive symptoms of HE. In addition, our Phase 2a study with oral OCR-002 in patients with cirrhosis is progressing well, and we remain on track to report top-line results by the end of the year.”

Select Second Quarter Financial Results

  • As of June 30, 2017, Ocera had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $20.6 million.
  • Net loss for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 was $6.1 million and $12.8 million, respectively. Net loss for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 was $7.1 million and $14.6 million, respectively. Basic and diluted net loss per share for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 was $0.23 and $0.51, respectively. Basic and diluted net loss for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 was $0.33 and $0.69, respectively.
  • Research and development (R&D) expense for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $3.4 million, compared to $3.9 million for the same period in 2016. R&D expense for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $7.3 million, compared to $8.7 million for the same period in 2016. The decrease in R&D expense for both the three and six month periods was due primarily to a decrease in clinical development costs.
  • General and administrative (G&A) expense for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $2.5 million, compared to $3.0 million for the same period in 2016. G&A expense for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $5.0 million, compared to $5.5 million for the same period in 2016. The decrease in G&A expense for both the three and six-month periods was due primarily to decreases in headcount and related expenses, and professional services fees partially offset by an increase in business development costs.
  • Net interest expense of $0.2 million and $0.5 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017, respectively, was primarily attributable to interest and amortization associated with the Company’s debt facility.
  • Net cash proceeds generated from the Company’s “at the market” equity facility totaled approximately $0.8 million for the three-month period ended June 30, 2017.

Financial Guidance

Ocera reiterates its previous guidance and expects net use of cash for 2017 to be in the range of $24.0 million to $27.0 million, including $3.1 million in scheduled principal repayments on notes payable, and reiterates its expectation that it will have sufficient cash to fund operations into the second quarter of 2018 based on its current operating plan.

Shares of Ocera closed today at $1.05, up $0.01 or 0.96%. OCRX has a 1-year high of $3.15 and a 1-year low of $0.52. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.12 and its 200-day moving average is $1.16.

On the ratings front, OCRX has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 5, H.C. Wainwright analyst Ed Arce reiterated a Buy rating on OCRX, with a price target of $4.00, which implies an upside of 281% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Mizuho’s Difei Yang reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $3.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ed Arce and Difei Yang have a yearly average return of 28.0% and 9.1% respectively. Arce has a success rate of 51% and is ranked #122 out of 4627 analysts, while Yang has a success rate of 50% and is ranked #451.

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. It engages in development and commercialization of OCR-002 (ornithine phenylacetate0 in intravenous and oral formulations.