Omeros Corp. Spikes on Stock Upgrade

Joel Anderson |

Omeros Corp. (OMER) jumped over 60 percent on early trading after Wedbush raised its price target for the stock. The rise constituted Monday's biggest jump for Omeros since October of 2009, and came with especially heavy volume for the small-cap pharma company. With gains reaching over 64 percent, it was a big day for investors in the Seattle-based company that had seen shares bleed off almost 47 percent of their value over the last year.

Wedbush analysts expressed confidence in OMS302, a new drug being developed for use in ophthalmological procedures like cataracts surgeries. With the Food and Drug Administration clamping down on “homebrew” topical solutions used during intraocular lens replacement surgeries, OMS302 appears poised to be the only solution on the market that combines pain relief and pupil dilation.

Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos was bullish on Omeros, reiterating an outperform rating while raising the price target to $28.

“We recently had a conversation with a high-volume cataract surgeon about the changing regulatory landscape following sterility issues at compound pharmacies. The FDA has indicated that each patient must be given a separate bottle for topical NSAIDs and mydriatic agents. In addition, surgeons are no longer allowed to mix their own homebrews of these agents for use during surgery—a common practice," she said. "The net impact is that the cost of topical NSAIDs and mydriatic agents per cataract procedure is rising—making not only the cost of OMS302 (we estimate ~$250/procedure in the U.S.) to be closer to topical agents, but also making it the only product combining pain relief and mydriasis which complies with these new regulations."

Approval of OMS302 is expected by the middle of next year, and Moussatos has estimated a 90 percent chance the drug gets the final go-ahead. The positive news about the outlook for OMS302 comes on the heels of last week’s news of positive data from phase 1 clinical trials for another Omeros drug, OMS824, an enzyme inhibitor intended for use in patients with Huntington’s disease and schizophrenia.

 

(image ocourtesy of Flickr)

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