SEATTLE, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today announced that it has identified compounds that functionally interact with each of four additional orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Without compounds that functionally interact with orphan GPCRs, developing drugs targeting those receptors is extremely difficult. Omeros has now unlocked 37 of them, representing over 45 percent of the Class A orphan GPCRs. There are approximately 120 orphan GPCRs and Omeros expects to unlock a large percentage of them, focusing first on Class A orphan GPCRs.
The four additional orphan GPCRs unlocked by Omeros are GPR83, GPR150, GPR151 and GPR183. GPR83 has been implicated in memory, stress and control of emotions and is also associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. GPR150 is linked to ovarian cancer, while GPR151 is involved with cognition. GPR183 is an important component of the immune system and plays a central role in controlling B-cell migration and T-cell-dependent antibody production. Omeros is in the process of filing broad patent applications around its unlocked orphan GPCRs and compound optimization efforts are in progress.
"Our GPCR program currently remains focused on rapidly unlocking orphan receptors and uniquely elucidating their respective signaling profiles, and our successes continue to mount," said Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "The data generated by this approach enable medicinal chemistry to develop potential therapeutics and feed directly into our primary patent objective – to exclusively control each receptor that we unlock together with the compounds that functionally interact with it."
Ongoing GPCR Program
Omeros is screening orphan GPCRs against its small-molecule chemical libraries using its proprietary, high-throughput cellular redistribution assay (CRA). The CRA detects receptor antagonists, agonists and inverse agonists. Omeros has announced that it has identified and confirmed sets of compounds that interact selectively with 37 orphan receptors linked to metastatic melanoma (GPR19), esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and obesity-related type-2 diabetes (GPR39), hepatocellular carcinoma (GPR80), squamous cell carcinoma (GPR87), ovarian cancer (GPR150), pancreatic cancer (GPR182), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (P2Y8/P2RY8), ovarian and prostate cancer (OGR1), arterial stiffness (GPR25), sleep disorders (OPN4), cognitive disorders (GPR12), torpor or "suspended animation" (GPR50), anxiety disorders (GPR31), schizophrenia (GPR52, GPR153), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (GPR78), memory and inflammatory conditions (GPR83), psychotic and metabolic disorders (GPR27, GPR85, GPR173), cognition (GPR151), cognitive impairments (MAS1), inflammatory responses (GPR32), obesity and diabetes (GPR21), appetite control (GPR101), immunological disorders (CCRL2), rheumatoid arthritis and HIV-mediated enteropathy (GPR15), respiratory and immune disorders (GPR141), humoral immunity (GPR183), multiple sclerosis (GPR17), motor control (GPR139), congenital cataracts and birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (GPR161), cancer stem cells and the self-renewal and maintenance of adult stem cells (LGR4) and long-term wound repair, including the formation of new hair follicles (LGR6). In addition, Omeros has unlocked GPR20, GPR135, GPR150 and OPN5, which have not yet been tied to any indications but are expressed preferentially in the gastrointestinal tract (GPR20), brain (GPR135) and eye, brain, testes and spinal cord (OPN5).
About G Protein-Coupled Receptors
GPCRs, which mediate key physiological processes in the body, are one of the most valuable families of drug targets. According to Insight Pharma Reports, GPCR-targeting drugs represent 30 to 40 percent of marketed pharmaceuticals. Examples include Claritin® (allergy), Zantac® (ulcers and reflux), OxyContin® (pain), Lopressor® (high blood pressure), Imitrex® (migraine headache), Reglan® (nausea) and Abilify® (schizophrenia, bipolar disease and depression) as well as all other antihistamines, opioids, alpha and beta blockers, serotonergics and dopaminergics.
The industry focuses its GPCR drug discovery efforts mostly on non-sensory GPCRs. Of the 363 total non-sensory GPCRs, approximately 240 have known ligands (molecules that bind the receptors) with nearly half of those targeted either by marketed drugs (46 GPCRs) or by drugs in development (about 70 GPCRs). There are approximately 120 GPCRs with no known ligands, which are termed "orphan GPCRs." Without a known ligand, drug development for a given receptor is extremely difficult.
Omeros uses its proprietary high-throughput CRA to identify small-molecule agonists and antagonists for orphan GPCRs, unlocking them to drug development. Omeros believes that it is the first to possess the capability to unlock orphan GPCRs in high-throughput, and that currently there is no other comparable technology. Unlocking these receptors could lead to the development of drugs that act at these new targets. There is a broad range of indications linked to orphan GPCRs including cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, pain, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, learning and cognitive disorders, autism, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and several forms of cancer.
About Omeros Corporation
Omeros is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing products targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and disorders of the central nervous system. The Company's most clinically advanced product candidates are derived from its proprietary PharmacoSurgery™ platform designed to improve clinical outcomes of patients undergoing a wide range of surgical and medical procedures. Omeros has four ongoing clinical development programs. Omeros may also have the near-term capability, through its GPCR program, to add a large number of new drug targets and their corresponding compounds to the market. Behind its clinical candidates and GPCR platform, Omeros is building a diverse pipeline of protein and small-molecule preclinical programs targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and central nervous system disorders.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections. These statements include, but are not limited to, the number of orphan GPCRs that Omeros expects to unlock; the potential indications of the orphans GPCRs unlocked by Omeros; Omeros' patent objective for each unlocked orphan GPCR; and that Omeros may have capability, through its GPCR program, to add a large number of new drug targets and their corresponding compounds to the market. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Omeros' actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, the risks, uncertainties and other factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15, 2012. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and the Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, even if new information becomes available in the future.
SOURCE Omeros Corporation
Jennifer Cook Williams, Cook Williams Communications, Inc., Investor and Media Relations, +1-360-668-3701, firstname.lastname@example.org