Adding Six More, Omeros Now Has A Total Of 33 Unlocked Orphan GPCRs In Its Portfolio
– Latest Receptors Linked to Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer Stem Cells, Bone Disorders, New Hair Follicle Generation and Wound Repair –
SEATTLE, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Omeros Corporation (OMER) today announced that it has identified compounds that functionally interact with each of the following six orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs): GPR17, GPR153, CCRL2, LGR4, LGR6 and OPN5. Without compounds that functionally interact with orphan GPCRs, developing drugs targeting those receptors is extremely difficult. Omeros has now unlocked 33 of them, representing over 40 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.
GPR17 is a novel target tied to multiple sclerosis. GPR153 is associated with schizophrenia, and CCRL2 is connected to immunological disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. LGR4 is linked to cancer stem cells and the self-renewal and maintenance of adult stem cells. LGR4 is also tied to bone disorders, such as osteoporosis. LGR6 is expressed in the hair follicle stem cells and is involved in long-term wound repair, including the formation of new hair follicles. OPN5 is a recently discovered photoreceptor for ultraviolet light, but its physiological role is currently unknown. Omeros is in the process of filing broad patent applications around its unlocked orphan GPCRs and compound optimization efforts are in progress.
“We continue to advance rapidly through the Class A orphans and, by the end of 2012, we plan to have screened them all using our proprietary Cellular Redistribution Assay,” said Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. “For each of these receptors, the compounds uniquely identified by Omeros represent keys to drug development, and we believe that Omeros exclusively controls those keys. In parallel with our successful screening efforts, we are building our patent position for each of our unlocked orphans with the goal of protecting and capitalizing on our discoveries.”