2 Sizzling Hot Biotechnology Stocks: Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (OCRX), Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL)

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (OCRX) ended last trading session with a change of 5 percent. It trades at an average volume of 2.74M shares versus 4.85M shares recorded at the end of last trading session. The share price of $1.47 is at a distance of 182.69 percent from its 52-week low and down -60.8 percent versus its peak. The company has a market cap of $45.88M and currently has 31.21M shares outstanding. The share price is currently 94.67 percent versus its SMA20, 12.25 percent versus its SMA50, and -30.83 percent versus its SMA200. The stock has a weekly performance of 144.47 percent and is -30 percent year-to-date as of the recent close.

On March 10, 2017 Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (OCRX) announced updates to its clinical development programs and reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

“2016 was a busy year for Ocera, culminating with the timely completion of enrollment in the fourth quarter of STOP-HE, a landmark study evaluating intravenous OCR-002 (ornithine phenylacetate) in patients hospitalized with acute hepatic encephalopathy (HE),” said Linda Grais, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ocera. “We also advanced our oral program testing orally-administered OCR-002 in patients with cirrhosis and developing a tablet formulation which is poised for clinical evaluation in 2017.

Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL) recently recorded 0.97 percent change and currently at $21.85 is 515.49 percent away from its 52-week low and down -6.98 percent versus its peak. It has a past 5-day performance of -3.87 percent and trades at an average volume of 5.46M shares. The stock has a 1-month performance of -2.89 percent and is 46.55 percent year-to-date as of the recent close. There were about 295.71M shares outstanding which made its market cap $6.46B. The share price is currently -1.69 percent versus its SMA20, 10.95 percent versus its SMA50, and 60.13 percent versus its SMA200.

On March 6, 2017 Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL) announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to cabozantinib for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This information was posted to FDA’s website on March 4, 2017 and can be accessed here. A pivotal phase 3 trial (CELESTIAL) of cabozantinib is ongoing in patients with advanced HCC, and Exelixis has guided that data from the trial are expected in 2017.

Orphan drug status is granted to treatments for diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. and provides certain incentives for medications intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases. At present, these incentives include seven years of marketing exclusivity for the orphan indication, certain federal grants, tax credits and waiver of certain FDA fees.


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