Omeros Pockets $28M in Stock Sale

Xconomy Seattle — 

Seattle-based Omeros has been on the rebound the past few months, and it took advantage of its rising stock price this week to pull in another $28 million for its pharmaceutical R&D efforts.

Omeros (NASDAQ: OMER) said yesterday it sold about 2.9 million new shares of stock at $10.25 apiece, bringing in $28.1 million after expenses. Cowen and Co. and Deutsche Bank led the offering, and Canaccord Genuity and Wedbush PacGrow Life Sciences were co-managers. Investors who got into this deal were able to snap up shares at a 22 percent discount to the $13.24 closing market price in Omeros on June 25, the day before the company announced its intent to do another stock sale.

Omeros stumbled in clinical trials with its lead drug candidate that’s supposed to help patients recover from arthroscopic knee surgery, but it bounced back in March when it said another drug combo was helpful for patients undergoing eye surgery. The new financing is supposed to help the company pay for the third and final stage of clinical trials normally required for FDA approval for the drug it calls OMS302. The company hasn’t given up on the knee surgery program either, saying it intends to run final-stage trials of OMS103HP for patients getting surgery on the meniscus tissue in the knee.

The positive clinical results with the eye drug came at a fortuitous time for Omeros, at least financially. The company went public in October 2009 at $10 a share, and entered this year with a stock price of $3.95. The company had just $17.6 million in cash and investments left at the end of March, according to its most recent quarterly report. That was about the same amount of cash it burned through in 2011, so if budgets remain the same, the new financing should represent enough cash to run the business for at least another 18 months.