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Omeros Corporation (OMER) Awarded $1 Million NIDA Grant for NMUR2 Drug Development Program



2/21/2012 10:41:54 AM

SEATTLE, February 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) today announced that it has been awarded a grant of $1.04 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to fund further drug development against neuromedin U receptor 2 (NMUR2). NMUR2 is a non-orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) linked to pain. Drugs that target NMUR2 could manage pain without the risk of addiction or other negative side effects associated with currently marketed analgesics (e.g., Vicodin®, OxyContin® and Percocet®) that target opioid and other pain-related receptors. The global analgesics market is projected to reach approximately US$35 billion by the year 2015.

Using its proprietary mouse gene knock-out technology and series of behavioral assays, Omeros was the first to identify and establish NMUR2's link to pain. This research is described in an article titled "Neuromedin U Receptor 2-Deficient Mice Display Differential Responses in Sensory Perception, Stress, and Feeding" that was published in the December 2006 edition of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The NIDA grant announced today will fund medicinal chemistry for proprietary compounds that interact with NMUR2. Omeros will retain ownership of any compounds developed with the assistance of this NIDA grant.

"We appreciate NIDA's ongoing support of Omeros' drug development programs, including those directly targeting addiction," said Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "NIDA's funding of our NMUR2 program, which is focused on pain relief rather than addiction, underscores the reduced addictive potential of the NMUR2-targeting analgesics that we are developing. A non-addictive analgesic with pain-relieving capabilities equal to that of opioids would represent a major advance in the field of pain management."

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.

Forward-looking Statements

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, statements regarding whether drugs that target NMUR2 could manage pain without the risk of addiction or other negative side effects associated with currently marketed analgesics; the projected analgesics market; and the Company's belief that Omeros may 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. 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 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 8, 2011. 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


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