SEATTLE, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today announced that it has requested Fast Track Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the development of OMS824 for the treatment of Huntington's disease. OMS824 selectively inhibits phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10), an enzyme expressed in areas of the brain linked to a wide range of diseases that affect cognition, including Huntington's disease and schizophrenia. OMS824 has shown promising results in animal models directly relevant to Huntington's disease and, as previously announced, OMS824 was well tolerated and exhibited favorable pharmacokinetic properties in a Phase 1 clinical program. Omeros is currently advancing OMS824 into a Phase 2 program.
FDA's Fast Track program facilitates the development of drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that have the potential to address unmet medical needs. Fast Track drugs are eligible for more frequent and timely meetings with FDA to discuss the development plan and to ensure that data needed for approval are collected appropriately. Drugs in the Fast Track program typically are granted priority review status and their respective New Drug Applications are accepted and reviewed by the FDA as rolling submissions.
"Huntington's disease is devastating, and there is agreement among specialists and affected families that the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of the disease are the primary source of functional impairment," stated Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "There currently are no drugs that improve cognition in Huntington's patients nor are there any disease-modifying therapies. OMS824 holds the potential to improve both cognition and movement and to reduce the rate of neurodegeneration, thereby slowing disease progression. If granted, Fast Track designation will provide the opportunity to streamline clinical development of this promising compound."
About Omeros' PDE10 ProgramPDE10 is an enzyme that is expressed in areas of the brain linked to diseases that affect cognition and psychomotor functions, including Huntington's disease and schizophrenia. Huntington's disease is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that leads to movement, cognition, and behavioral abnormalities and premature death. Cognitive dysfunction is responsible for substantial disability in these diseases and is not improved by current medications. Omeros' proprietary compound OMS824 inhibits PDE10 and is being developed for the treatment of cognitive disorders. In addition to potential benefits on cognition, OMS824 could also improve psychiatric manifestations, such as the positive (e.g., hallucinations) and negative (e.g., flat affect) symptoms of schizophrenia.About Omeros CorporationOmeros is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing products targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and disorders of the central nervous system. The Company's most clinically advanced product candidates, OMS302 for lens replacement surgery and OMS103HP for arthroscopy, are derived from its proprietary PharmacoSurgery™ platform designed to improve clinical outcomes of patients undergoing a wide range of surgical and medical procedures. Omeros has five clinical development programs. Omeros may also have the near-term capability, through its GPCR program, to add a large number of new drug targets and their corresponding compounds to the market. Behind its clinical candidates and GPCR platform, Omeros is building a diverse pipeline of protein and small-molecule preclinical programs targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and central nervous system disorders. Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections. These statements include, but are not limited to, Omeros' expectations that it will advance OMS824 into a Phase 2 clinical program; regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of OMS824; that Fast Track designation would streamline the clinical development of OMS824; and that Omeros may have capability, through its GPCR program, to add a large number of new drug targets and their corresponding compounds to the market. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Omeros' actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, the risks, uncertainties and other factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 19, 2013. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and the Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, even if new information becomes available in the future. SOURCE Omeros Corporation