What happened

Shares of Omeros (NASDAQ:OMER), a commercial-stage biotech, rose 96% in 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Investors can thank soaring Omidria sales and a handful of positive clinical updates for the big jump. 

So what

Here's a review of the key announcements from the year:

  • In May, investors cheered after the company reported data from a phase 2 study showing that OMS721 -- which is Omeros' lead pipeline candidate -- reduced urine protein levels in patients with Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy.  
  • In June, Omeros' shares soared after the company announced that OMS721 was granted breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of IgA nephropathy.
  • In November, shares took off after Omeros reported stronger-than-expect Omidria sales growth. Omidria is a drug that is used during eye surgery to help lower the risk of complications and is the company's primary moneymaker.
  • In December, Omidria won Food and Drug Administration approval for a label expansion into the pediatric population. The regulatory win expanded the drug's addressable market and also extended its period of market exclusivity out until 2034.

Given the flurry of upbeat news, it is understandable why shares enjoyed such a positive run.

Dollar signs in a drug packet

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Omeros appears to be in great shape today. Omidria sales are growing rapidly and reaching the $1 billion sales mark isn't out of the question. OMS721 is also progressing nicely in the clinic and could turn into a megablockbuster compound if everything works out. That represents a lot of potential for a company that is currently worth less than $1 billion.

All in all, I think that risk-loving investors have plenty of reasons to put this small-cap biotech on their radar.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.