Funding will support medicinal chemistry to generate lead compounds.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded Omeros a $1.04 million grant to fund further development of a neuromedin U receptor 2 (NMUR2) inhibitor analgesic. Omeros claims that using mouse gene knockout technology and behavioral assays, its scientists were the first to identify and establish a link between the GPCR and pain.

The firm believes that targeting NMUR2 could enable the development of nonaddictive analgesics that don’t have other unwanted side effects associated with other marketed analgesics. The latest NIDA grant will fund medicinal chemistry to generate proprietary compounds that interact with NMUR2. “NIDA’s funding of the 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,” states Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., CEO.

Omeros is focused on developing and commercializing products against inflammation, coagulopathies, and disorders of the central nervous system. Its Phase II- and III-stage lead PharmacoSurgery™ platform candidates are formulations based on generic-FDA-approved drugs, which are added to standard surgical irrigation solutions to directly address the trauma-related effects of surgical intervention at the molecular level, and at the site of injury.  

Omeros’ CNS programs include a Phase II-completed PPARγ agonist program for the treatment and prevention of addiction to substances of abuse such as opioids, nicotine, and alcohol. The firm is also progressing an IND-filed phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10) program for the treatment of schizophrenia, and a similarly IND-filed PDE7 program for the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson disease, as well as addiction and compulsive disorders.

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