SEATTLE, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to OMS824, the company's phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10) inhibitor, for the treatment of cognitive impairment in patients with Huntington's disease. OMS824 selectively inhibits 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. Omeros has conducted successful clinical trials assessing the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and target engagement of a wide range of doses of OMS824 in its Phase 1 program. Positive data from the company's OMS824 Phase 2a schizophrenia trial were recently announced, and Omeros expects to begin enrolling patients this quarter in its Phase 2 trial evaluating OMS824 for Huntington's disease.
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. A drug program with Fast Track status is afforded greater access to the FDA for the purpose of expediting the drug's development, review and potential approval. Many drugs that receive Fast Track designation are also considered appropriate to receive Priority Review, and their respective New Drug Applications (NDAs) may be accepted by the FDA as a "rolling submission" in which portions of an NDA are reviewed before the complete application is submitted. Priority Review and rolling submission can each provide further acceleration of FDA's approval process.
"FDA's Fast Track designation of OMS824 for Huntington's disease reflects the unmet need associated with cognitive impairment in Huntington's patients and recognizes the drug's potential to treat this condition," stated Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "Together with the orphan drug status previously awarded OMS824 by the FDA for Huntington's, we have the opportunity to streamline the development of this promising compound. We look forward to enrolling patients in our OMS824 Phase 2 clinical trial for Huntington's disease within the next few weeks."
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. Schizophrenia is a group of severe brain disorders characterized by an abnormal interpretation of reality, which can manifest as delusions, hallucinations, and/or disordered thinking and behavior. Cognitive dysfunction is responsible for substantial disability in both of these diseases and is not meaningfully improved by current medications. Omeros' proprietary compound OMS824, currently in Phase 2 clinical programs, inhibits PDE10 and is being developed for the treatment of cognitive disorders. In addition to potential benefits on cognition, OMS824 could also improve the motor and psychiatric abnormalities in Huntington's disease as well as the positive (e.g., hallucinations) and negative (e.g., flat affect) symptoms of schizophrenia. Omeros has been awarded both Orphan Drug and Fast Track Designations by the US FDA to evaluate OMS824 in Huntington's disease, and a Fast Track application to the FDA for the evaluation of OMS824 in schizophrenia is currently under review.About Omeros CorporationOmeros is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing small-molecule and protein therapeutics targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and disorders of the central nervous system. Derived from its proprietary PharmacoSurgery® platform, the Company's lead drug product, OMS302 for lens replacement surgery, is currently under review for marketing approval by both the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency with commercial launch planned for 2014. Omeros' five other clinical programs are focused on schizophrenia, Huntington's disease and cognitive impairment; addictive and compulsive disorders; complement-related diseases; and preventing problems associated with surgical procedures. Omeros also has a proprietary GPCR platform, which is making available an unprecedented number of new GPCR drug targets and corresponding compounds to the pharmaceutical industry for drug development. Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections for such statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "goal," "intend," "look forward to," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions. 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, risks associated with Omeros' unproven preclinical and clinical development activities, regulatory oversight, product commercialization, intellectual property claims, and the risks, uncertainties and other factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 7, 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, even if new information becomes available in the future. SOURCE Omeros Corporation