Ocera gins $35.5M in third venture round

San Diego-based Ocera Therapeutics has lined up $35.5 million in its third venture round to push the further development of its lead--and only--therapy: AST-120, which was in-licensed from Japan's Kureha in 2005. The drug is in Phase III for fistulizing Crohn's disease as well as a range of other trials for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hepatic Encephalopathy and PPI-resistant GERD.

"This latest round takes us well into 2009," CEO Laurent Fischer, MD, told FierceBiotech, "and we're anticipating positive data in Crohn's Phase III. This gives us the opportunity to evaluate partnerships and tap the public markets--if they open up." Fischer also says that the company is examining new in-licensing options.

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.

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ALSO: Affimed Therapeutics says it's bumped up its second venture round to $45 million in a second close. Release