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Omeros Progresses with OMS824

Zacks Equity Research

Omeros Corporation (OMER) recently announced positive results from the multiple-ascending-dose (:MAD) section of the company’s phase I study on OMS824. We note that OMS824 is the lead compound in Omeros' phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10) program.

Omeros is developing the candidate as a PDE10 inhibitor, which is an enzyme expressed in areas of the brain linked to a wide range of diseases, including Huntington's disease and schizophrenia, that affect cognition.

Omeros enrolled 64 healthy male volunteers for the study. Results from the study showed that OMS824 was well tolerated by all the volunteers. Moreover, the candidate effectively inhibited PDE10, which support continuing development for the treatment of Huntington's disease, schizophrenia and other central nervous system disorders. The only drug-related adverse event noticed during the study was mild somnolence that too at the highest evaluated dose.

In Dec 2012, Omeros reported promising data from the single-ascending-dose (:SAD) study portion of a phase I study on OMS824. Based on the positive data published by the company on OMS824 in Dec 2012 and Mar 2013, it now plans to advance the candidate into phase II development.

We note that currently companies like Novartis (NVS) and Pfizer (PFE) have drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia and Huntington's disease.

Another interesting candidate at Omeros is OMS302, which is under phase III development for intreating patients undergoing intraocular lens replacement surgery. Omeros plans to submit a New Drug Application (:NDA) for the candidate in the US soon. The company also has plans to submit a Marketing Authorization Application for OMS302 to the European Medicines Agency in mid-2013. The pipeline at Omeros also includes OMS103HP (for patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy surgery). The candidate is in phase III development.

Omeros, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as Cytokinetics Inc. (CYTK) currently look more attractive carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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