September 19, 2008

Omeros Forms Partnership for Treatment of Movement Disorders

Omeros and The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center have entered into a collaboration to evaluate a novel target, proprietary to Omeros, for the treatment of movement disorders.

Under the collaboration, Omeros and The Parkinson's Institute will conduct laboratory studies of one or more compounds that block Omeros's proprietary target in a widely used and highly predictive model for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease.

The collaboration is based on Omeros's discovery and prior validation of a previously unknown link between this molecular target in the brain and movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome.

Omeros's earlier studies conducted at Emory University showed that compounds blocking this target were as effective as levodopamine, or L-DOPA, the standard treatment for Parkinson's disease for nearly 40 years, at doses 50- to 100-times lower than those of L-DOPA. L-DOPA is also associated with side effects including dyskinesias, hallucinations, sleep disorders and cognitive impairment.

The data also showed that compounds blocking this target potentiate the effect of L-DOPA, and Omeros plans to explore the clinical utility of these and similar compounds, both singly and in combination with L-DOPA.

William Langston, scientific director and founder of The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center, said: "Omeros's experimental data are the first that I have ever seen to show efficacy equivalent to that of L-DOPA.

"Based on the potential for lower dosing and the proposed mechanism of action for Omeros's target, which is different than that of L-DOPA and related dopamine agonists, Omeros's discovery may lead to drugs that could reduce the debilitating side effects of current treatments."