SEATTLE, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today announced that research on mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) has been published in the April 18, 2011 Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Wilhelm Schwaeble, Ph.D., Professor of Immunology at the University of Leicester and the senior author of the paper, led an international team of researchers who demonstrated that blocking MASP-2 function significantly reduces tissue damage caused by ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Ischemia is the interruption of blood flow to tissue, which can be caused by myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), strokes and other medical disorders as well as a wide range of surgical procedures. When blood flow is restored to ischemic tissue (reperfusion), the process can trigger an excessive inflammatory response leading to tissue destruction and impaired organ function. MASP-2, which was first identified by researchers at the University of Leicester, is a pro-inflammatory protein target in the complement system. The complement system, an important component of the immune system, initiates an inflammatory response as a result of tissue damage or microbial pathogen invasion.
Professor Schwaeble and his colleagues demonstrated in animal models of cardiac and gastrointestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury that inhibition of MASP-2 function blocked the excessive inflammatory response, resulting in significantly less tissue damage.
MASP-2 is a key component of the innate immune response and its inhibition could potentially provide a novel approach to treating other inflammatory disorders, including neuropathy and other complications of diabetes, age-related macular degeneration and autoimmune disorders. Omeros holds worldwide exclusive intellectual-property rights related to