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Omeros threatens suits against author of critical report

July 3, 2017

Seattle biotech Omeros plans to pursue legal action against the author of a critical report that the company said is “replete with falsehoods.”

Omeros’ stock price plummeted 10 percent Wednesday after the author tweeted the report.

The report was published by Art Doyle — although it’s unclear if that’s a person or an organization. Art Doyle offers “expertise in immune oncology, statistics and James Beard award winning restaurants,” according to its Twitter profile. Art Doyle didn’t respond to a Twitter message for comment.

Art Doyle’s report is riddled with photos from movies and exclamation points, and expresses concern and disbelief about the progress of Omeros’ drug candidates and its CEO, Gregory Demopulos. The report insinuates that the biotech is hiding something about the Phase 1 results of a drug that is meant to treat diseases that involve tissue injury.

“SO COME ON GREG,” the report reads. “Show us the Phase 1 subcutaneous data, you loser. Stop hiding.”

Art Doyle’s report also repeatedly referred to a lawsuit that a former executive filed against the company in 2009. The wrongful termination suit was settled in 2012.

Omeros shot back at Art Doyle on Thursday, saying it does not usually respond to such statements, but this report was “egregious.”

“This report is replete with falsehoods, misleading statements and incorrect analyses and conclusions,” the company said in a statement. “ ‘Art Doyle’ states that it stands to profit in the event that Omeros’ share price declines. The report is actionable and the company is pursuing legal remedies.”

Indeed, Art Doyle’s report includes a disclaimer that the entity has a net short position in Omeros, and it “stands to profit in the event that the issuer’s share price declines.”

The report has more than 5,000 views on Scribd, where it was published. Art Doyle’s profile on Scribd shows a blank picture and five other critical reports on biotechs, including one on Aclaris Therapeutics that prominently, and confusingly, features a picture of Chevy Chase.

Omeros, which is headquartered on Seattle’s waterfront near Queen Anne, develops drugs to treat diseases including Huntington’s disease, kidney disease and compulsive disorders. The company has a drug on the market that is used during cataract surgery.

The company’s stock price had recovered a bit Thursday, gaining 5.5 percent since its low point Wednesday. Its share price closed at $20.59 Thursday.

http://bit.ly/2tHNxZi

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