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International consortium of complement experts receives €1.3 mn grant to study role of MASP-2 & lectin pathway in traumatic brain injury

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 17:00 Hrs  [IST]

Omeros Corporation announced that an international consortium of complement experts from Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Poland was awarded €1.3 million in grant funding to study the benefits of inhibiting mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) and the lectin pathway in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Omeros’ OMS721 is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits MASP-2, which is the effector enzyme of the lectin pathway of the complement system. Omeros controls the worldwide rights to MASP-2 and all therapeutics targeting MASP-2.

The international consortium was awarded the grant by the Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research (ERANET-NEURON), which is part of a European research area network funded by the European Commission. The consortium’s project is entitled, “New therapeutic strategies in the treatment of traumatic brain injury by targeting the LEctin Activation Pathway of complement,” or LEAP, and is focused on defining the contribution of lectin pathway activators and enzymes (MASP-1, MASP-2, and MASP-3) in driving post-traumatic brain injury and on assessing the therapeutic utility of MASP-2-blocking antibodies to reduce TBI-related morbidity and mortality in patients. The program also targets the development of biomarkers for use in TBI clinical trials.

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and of permanent disability worldwide, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths in the US. Those who survive a TBI can face effects (e.g., cognitive, movement, vision or hearing, and emotional) lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. In 2010, about 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or deaths in the US were associated with TBI. Within minutes following the trauma, TBI induces the activation of several injurious cascades that develop over time and account for the majority of brain damage. Among these, the lectin pathway of complement and its effector enzyme MASP-2 have been identified to contribute substantially to the detrimental outcome of TBI.

“We are pleased that ERANET-NEURON has chosen to fund our consortium to evaluate further the role of the lectin pathway and MASP-2 in traumatic brain injury,” stated Dr. Maria-Grazia De Simoni, Head of the Laboratory of Inflammation and Nervous System Diseases, IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri and coordinator of the study. “We believe that the lectin pathway plays a critical role in brain injury as evidenced by our published data showing that Omeros’ MASP-2 inhibitor OMS721 significantly reduced brain infarct size and protected against neurologic functional loss in a well-established animal model of stroke. We look forward to sharing the results of our collaborative efforts to develop therapeutic strategies for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.”

Omeros currently has an ongoing Phase 3 clinical program evaluating OMS721 in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome as well as Phase 2 programs assessing the drug in hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy and in IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, C3 glomerulopathy and lupus nephritis.


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