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Omeros Corporation (OMER - Snapshot Report) announced additional positive data from its phase I program on OMS824. OMS824 is Omeros’ lead candidate in its phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10) program.

The study evaluated the extent to which a higher dose of OMS824 binds to PDE10. The additional data revealed that an average of 63% engagement with PDE10 was observed in patients treated with OMS824. The level of engagement was significantly higher in the trial with lesser side effects compared to any other PDE10 inhibitor in development.

Moreover, the candidate did not show any dose-limiting side effects, which was seen in other PDE10 inhibitors. OMS824 was well tolerated during the trial with the only side effect of mild somnolence.

In May 2013, Omeros had reported that OMS824 achieved high target occupancy without causing movement disorders seen with other PDE10 inhibitors. The positron emission tomography (PET) study evaluating OMS824 at lower doses revealed target engagement of about 50%, more than other PDE10 inhibitors. Omeros now intends to evaluate a higher dose of OMS824 in the PET study.

We note that Omeros is preparing to initiate a phase II study on OMS824 for the treatment of Huntington's disease. The study is expected to commence by year end. Last month, the candidate was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this indication. A Fast Track application is also under review in the U.S. for OMS824 in the Huntington's disease indication.

Omeros is also evaluating OMS824 for the treatment of schizophrenia in a phase II study. We are encouraged by Omeros’ progress with OMS824.

Omeros at present carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Stocks such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMAG - Snapshot Report) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS - Analyst Report) currently look better positioned in the pharma space with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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