Omeros has reported that with its identification of compounds that interact
selectively with each of four additional orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) - GPR19, GPR20, GPR31 and GPR141 - it has now unlocked over 20% of the 77 Class A orphans. GPCRs represent the premier family of drug targets, with more than 30% of currently marketed drugs targeting only 46 GPCRs. There are approximately 120 orphan GPCRs, and Omeros is initially targeting Class A orphan GPCRs.
The four additional orphan receptors unlocked by Omeros are linked to important potential indications. GPR19 has been tied to metastatic melanoma, the most advanced stage of melanoma. GPR20 and GPR141 are expressed in areas of the body associated with gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory/immunologic disorders, respectively. GPR31 has been implicated in anxiety disorders, which affect approximately 40 million adults in the United States in a given year. By identifying compounds that interact selectively with each of these four orphan receptors - as for the other 14 orphan GPCRs that it has previously unlocked - Omeros is able to provide templates to the pharmaceutical industry for the design of proprietary compounds that interact with these receptors.
"We continue to march through the Class A orphan GPCRs and have initiated
compound optimization," said Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "In parallel, we are executing on our intellectual property strategy to protect each unlocked target through a multipronged approach directed to compound structures, uniquely identified signaling pathways and associated therapeutic indications. Collectively, this approach provides us the opportunity to establish broad and enforceable protection for each receptor that we unlock."