San Diego-based Ocera Therapeutics Inc. announced it will merge with Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Tranzyme Pharma in an all-stock transaction. Ocera, currently privately held, will go public after the merger.

Upon closing of the merger, the Ocera investor syndicate said it would contribute an additional $20 million in PIPE funding, or private investment in public equity.

Ocera to date is a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded in 2005. On its website, the company said it has raised $62 million from several life sciences investors, including Thomas McNerney & Partners, Sofinnova Ventures and Montagu Newhall Associates.

The company will focus on developing new treatments for patients with liver disease.

“Following an extensive and thorough review of strategic alternatives, we believe the proposed merger with Ocera offers the best value for our stockholders,” Vipin Garg, Tranzyme’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Tranzyme is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq, and was recently trading at 55 cents per share. It has a market capitalization of $15.3 million.

— Meghana Keshavan