A year out from getting US approval of its Omidria agent for cataract surgery, Omeros has bulked up its sales force in anticipation of a sharp increase in Omidria sales that will put the company in a cash-flow positive status later in the year and fully fund its pipeline, Omeros chairman and CEO Gregory A. Demopulos, MD, said as first-quarter results were released.
For the quarter, Omeros actually lost $20.5 million, or 54 cents a share, on revenues of $7.4 million – $7.2 million of that attributed to Omidria – but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For all of last year, Omidria registered $13.3 million in sales, so the company is on pace to more than double those sales in 2016.
At the start of the year, Omeros also hired 26 Omidria sales representatives who previously worked on contract, then hired 11 more through the first quarter. Omeros also arranged a commission-only contract sales agreement with Precision Lens to cover states the company’s sales force doesn’t.
Omidria received Food and Drug Administration approval in April 2015 for use in cataract surgery and lens replacement procedures to maintain pupil dilation, prevent pupil constriction, and reduce postoperative eye pain. The drug also is approved in the European Union and several other countries.
Omidria sales have been picking up in the second quarter this year, Dr. Demopulos said, and should reach an annualized level of $45 million to $50 million. “We continue to expect that we will reach cash-flow positive status later this year, fully funding our pipeline,” he said.
“That pipeline includes a collection of exciting drug targets that Omeros controls,” Dr. Demopulos told Eye On Innovation. They include:
- MASP-2 and MASP-3 in the complement system, the former a subject of a Phase III trial in the treatment of atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome and Phase II trials in other thrombotic microangiopathies or with complement-related renal diseases.
- PDE7 to treat addictions. PDE7 is an enzyme Omeros discovered that is linked to many forms of addiction or compulsive disorder and to movement disorders. “We plan to move our PDE7 inhibitor into the clinic next year for the treatment of drug addiction,” Dr. Demopulos said.
- 54 orphan G protein-coupled receptors “for which we believe that we have uniquely identified corresponding functionally active compounds, allowing the development of drugs against these previously undrugable receptors in the fields of cancer as well as CNS (central nervous system), metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders,” he said.
In other milestones this year, Omeros executed $70 million in credit financing and hired pharma veteran Leonard Blum to lead its sales, marketing, and commercial strategy.