– USA, CA – Ocera Therapeutics (Nasdaq:OCRX) today announced that Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D., has joined its board of directors.

“We are excited that Wendell has accepted our offer to join our board, and we will benefit greatly from his leadership as we advance our Phase 2b clinical trials,” said Linda Grais, M.D., chief executive officer of Ocera. “Wendell’s experience will also be extremely beneficial in shaping both our clinical and our business growth strategy.”

“Ocera’s clinical candidate, OCR-002, offers promising clinical benefit for patients with hepatic encephalopathy,” said Dr. Wierenga. “I am pleased to be joining Ocera and look forward to helping the company develop as it advances this clinical candidate.”

Dr. Wierenga presently serves as executive vice president, research and development at Santarus, Inc. Previously Dr. Wierenga held leadership positions at Ambit Biosciences Corporation, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., and Syrrx, Inc. as well as 10 years with Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (now Pfizer) where he held positions including senior vice president, worldwide pharmaceutical sciences, technologies and development.

Dr. Wierenga has led or participated in the research and development of more than 70 INDs, over 15 NDAs and 16 marketed products, including Lipitor, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Uceris. Dr. Wierenga earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and has been a member of the scientific advisory board of seven biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including currently Concert Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and aTyr Pharma, Inc. In addition, he has served on the boards of directors of five biotech companies including, until recently, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and currently, Cytokinetics and XenoPort.

About Ocera

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of OCR-002 (ornithine phenylacetate). OCR-002 is an ammonia scavenger which has been granted Orphan Disease and Fast Track status from the FDA to treat hyperammonemia and associated hepatic encephalopathy in patients with liver cirrhosis, acute liver failure and acute liver injury.

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