SEATTLE, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today reported that it has identified compounds that interact selectively with each of four additional orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) – GPR15, GPR39, GPR78 and GPR161. Omeros has now announced that it has unlocked 14 of the 80 Class A orphan GPCRs. GPCRs represent the premier family of drug targets, with more than 30 percent of currently marketed drugs targeting only 46 GPCRs. There are approximately 120 orphan GPCRs, and Omeros, which expects to unlock a large percentage of these for drug development, is initially targeting Class A orphan GPCRs.
The four unlocked orphan receptors announced today are linked to a wide range of indications and present multiple new opportunities for drug development by the pharmaceutical industry. GPR15 has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis and HIV-mediated enteropathy, a chronic intestinal illness in HIV-infected patients. GPR39 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity-related type-2 diabetes and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, the most prevalent esophageal cancer worldwide. GPR78 has been linked to bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia, and GPR161 has been tied to congenital cataracts and birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
"These discoveries further validate our proprietary technology and underscore our unique ability to open to the pharmaceutical industry previously inaccessible targets for drug development," said Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "Each of these receptors is linked to severe medical disorders, and our success enables the design of novel compounds that could result in new and more effective therapies for patients that need them."
Ongoing GPCR Program
Omeros has begun screening orphan GPCRs against its small-molecule chemica