Why Omeros Corporation Shares Plunged Today

By Markets Fool.com

What: In the wake of announcing a $75 million public offering last week -- expected to close by Feb. 3 -- shares in Omeros Corporation sank by as much as 10% today, closing down 7.6%.

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So What: Omeros is a biotechnology company that is developing small molecule therapies for controlling inflammation, bleeding during surgery, and central nervous system disorders, including schizophrenia.

On Jan. 29, Omeros reported that it had priced a public offering of 2,995,506 shares of its common stock at a per-share price to the public equal to$20.03, and pre-funded warrants to purchase up to 749,250 shares of its common stock, at a per-warrant price to the public equal to$20.02. Previously, the company had 34.08 million shares outstanding and a share float of 31.90 million shares.

If the offering goes off as planned, Omeros' gross and net proceeds will total $75 million and $70.6 million, respectively. Omeros also agreed to make available an additional 449,325 shares to cover overallotments. If those additional shares are sold, it would add another $9 million in gross proceeds.

Now what: Clinical stage biotechnology stocks often raise capital through dilutive share offerings to fund expensive human clinical trials and to launch new products.

In the case of Omeros, the company plans to use the additional money for general corporate expenses, including commercializing Omidria, the company's first FDA-approved product.

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Omidria was approved by the FDA for use during cataract surgery or intraocular lens replacement to reduce pupil constriction and post-operative pain last May, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted Omidria pass-through reimbursement status effective January 1st. As a result, Omeros' costs are expected to increase as it rolls out the drug early this year.

The capital from the company's offering is essential to establishing Omidria in the marketplace, but it will also be used to help usher along other therapies in its pipeline.

Since Omeros reported a net loss of $18.3 million, up from a net loss of $13.9 million a year ago in the third quarter, and given that the company's cash balance stood at just $21.7 million exiting the third quarter, it probably isn't too surprising that Omeros is tapping equity markets for financing. Regardless, Omeros remains an emerging, high-risk play in the biotech industry, and that suggests investors might be best suited watching and waiting to see how quickly Omidria scripts climb before committing to buy this one.

The article Why Omeros Corporation Shares Plunged Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may or may not have positions in the companies mentioned. Legal beagles won't let me ask them or let them tell me. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.