Washington Editor

Omeros Corp. has filed an initial public offering to raise up to $115 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The Seattle-based biotech, which is seeking a listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker "OMER," has yet to set the share price and the number of shares to be offered.

Omeros, founded in 1994, is focused on developing and commercializing products to treat inflammation and central nervous system disorders. Its lead product, OMS103HP, a combination of FDA-approved pharmaceutical ingredients with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and vasoconstrictive activities, is being developed for use during surgery to preemptively inhibit inflammation and other problems caused by surgical trauma.

OMS103HP currently is being evaluated in Phase III trials as a therapy to improve postoperative joint function and reduce pain following arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery and arthroscopic meniscectomy surgery.

In its prospectus, Omeros said it expects to complete Phase III clinical trials of OMS103HP in ACL reconstruction surgery by the end of this year and anticipates submitting a new drug application with the FDA under a 505(b)(2) filing in the first half of 2009. In addition, the company said it plans to complete its first Phase III trial in meniscectomy surgery in the second half of 2008 and anticipates starting a second Phase III study for the same indication later this year.

Omeros' surgery product pipeline also includes OMS302, a combination of ingredients with anti-inflammatory and pupil dilation activities being developed for use during ophthalmological procedures, including cataract and other lens replacement surgery.

The firm said it plans to submit an investigational new drug application to the FDA in the first half of this year and expects to begin enrolling patients in a Phase I/II trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of OMS302 in cataract surgery.

Omeros also is developing OMS201, a combination of ingredients with anti-inflammatory and smooth muscle relaxant activities for use during urological surgery, including uroendoscopic procedures of the bladder, ureter, urethra and other urinary tract structures.

The company said it expects to complete a Phase I clinical trial of OMS201 by midyear.

Omeros said it plans to use the proceeds of the IPO to fund the completion of its Phase III studies, approval application and commercialization activities for OMS103HP, the clinical development of OMS302 and OMS201 and to advance its preclinical products, which include therapies to treat schizophrenia and arthritis.

For the first nine months ending Sept. 30, Omeros had a net loss of $18.4 million, with grant revenues of $650,000. The company reported $27.17 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

CEO Gregory A. Demopulos holds the largest number of shares, 4.39 million, or 14.9 percent, followed by Chicago-based Arch Venture Partners, with 1.4 million shares, or 5.2 percent.

As of Dec. 31, Omeros had 27.97 million shares outstanding.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Pacific Growth Equities LLC, Leerink Swan LLC and Needham & Co. LLC are listed as the underwriters.

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