A Seattle biotech offloads lead eye drug in deal valued at $1B+ as it refocuses on emerging pipeline
An FDA-approved drug used to maintain pupil size in patients during cataract surgery and reduce postoperative eye pain has been sold to Rayner Surgical in a deal that could exceed $1 billion after milestones.
Seattle-based Omeros sold eye drug Omidria for an upfront payment of $125 million, with another $200 million in commercial milestone payments and another $34 million that comes with an accounts receivable balance. The sale will help Omeros secure a long-term financial stream, and allow it to focus on the rest of its current pipeline while cutting commercial costs.
The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31.
Rayner will pay Omeros royalties for sales both inside and outside of the US, with a royalty rate of 50% of US sales until either Jan. 1, 2025 or the $200 million-mark, after which Omeros will get a 30% royalty rate. Outside the US, Omeros will get a 15% rate throughout the lifetime of the patent. In all, the deal is valued at about $1 billion.
The drug will be a key product in Rayner’s ophthalmology franchise, which already includes dry eye treatments, intraocular lenses and ophthalmic surgery devices. CEO Tim Clover called the product an “ideal fit for Rayner,” as it expands its focus to help ophthalmic surgeons.
During the Q&A portion of the investors call, Colin Bristol, the managing director of biotechnology with UBS, asked if this sale indicated a sudden increase in costs connected to narsoplimab, the company’s monoclonal antibody of MASP-2 of the effector enzyme of the lectin pathway of the complement system. CEO Greg Demopulos insisted that the sale had nothing to do with that treatment.
“This should reduce our expenditures in excess of $30 million annually … in respect to our plans going forward, obviously this allows us to focus on our biotech pipeline including primarily our complement franchise and the programs behind it,” he said in the call. “I want to be clear that this in no way signals that we are expecting a substantial increase in costs on narsoplimab. This is frankly, a very good deal, and it’s really independent of narsoplimab.”
The company has never launched a drug in Europe before, Demopulos said on the investor call Thursday. Rayner’s presence outside of the US will help the launch of the product in the EU and UK, following EMA and UK regulatory approval. But Rayner will also assume the US-based commercial operations for Omidria, and the two companies plan to add sales representatives in the US as well.