California pharmaceutical company Ocera Therapeutics completed its takeover of floundering Durham drug developer Tranzyme Pharma, emerging with a new stock that gained more than 40 percent Tuesday.
The deal closed Sunday, changing Tranzyme's name to Ocera and creating a new stock on the Nasdaq exchange, under the ticker symbol OCRX. Ocera's shareholders paid $20 million in a bargain basement sale, acquiring a 71 percent ownership stake in Tranzyme.
Ocera shares closed at $8.77 Tuesday, up $2.54 a share. Prior to the merger Tranzyme faced possible delisting from Nasdaq but the company boosted its stock value with a 12-to-1 reverse stock split, reducing the number of shares to increase the value of the remaining shares.
Tranzyme had no products on the market and took a big hit last year when preliminary test results show no benefits from its experimental treatment for gastrointestinal problems caused by diabetes. Also last year Tranzyme halted development of another experimental drug after disappointing test results.
San Diego-based Ocera is developing a drug, OCR-002, to treat a rare liver condition. The drug has received orphan status by U.S. and European regulators, a designation granted to promising medications for rare conditions.
Ocera employs 15 people: 10 in Durham and 5 in San Diego.