Sareum aims to complete at least one pre-clinical trial this year

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We believe there is a clear opportunity to generate significant value for our shareholders over the next 12 months, given recent progress with both our clinical and preclinical programmes.

Dr Tim Mitchell, chief executive

About Sareum

Sareum Holdings PLC‘s (LON:SAR) most advanced programme was developed in collaboration with the Institute of Cancer Research and the CRT Pioneer Fund. It is undergoing two Phase II clinical trials conducted by licence partner Sierra Oncology.

The drug developer has two other preclinical discoveries – focused on autoimmune disease and cancer.


This is a checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor, a type of drug that controls a cancer cell’s response to DNA damage

It is currently undergoing two Phase II clinical trials in patients with advanced cancer – one as monotherapy and another in combination with low-dose gemcitabine, which is one of the most commonly-prescribed chemotherapies.

Preliminary efficacy data from a phase I/II clinical trial carried out by Vancouver-based Sierra Oncology, which licensed the drug candidate in a deal worth up to US$328.5mln plus royalties, was encouraging.

Most eye-catching among the headlines was the impact SRA737 had in harness with gemcitabine in patients with anogenital cancer, where the response rate was 30%.

New research in March also highlighted the therapeutic potential of SRA737 in a new drug combination targeting lung and colorectal cancers published in Cancer Research, a leading peer-reviewed journal

What else is in the pipeline

In August, Sareum said it is advancing initial discussions with potential licensees for its pre-clinical tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) / Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The progress report was provided in the company’s latest trading statement, which also provided updates on the two treatments that have commercial backing.

Investors were told that investigational new drug-enabling work would be completed for at least one of its TYK2/JAK1 candidates by the end of the calendar year. A decision on an initial target will be made in the second half and from there a “robust” pre-clinical data package will be prepared to support “ongoing partnering activities”

Sareum also said it expects to hear in October the response to a grant request to fund work on TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

What the boss says: Tim Mitchell, CEO (August)

“The past year has seen Sareum advance the preclinical development of our proprietary dual TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor programmes, with the goal of completing preclinical development of at least one candidate by the end of 2020.

“We are particularly pleased to have raised additional funding during the period, which will be deployed to advance these programmes towards clinical development and build a robust data package to support our ongoing partnering activities for these exciting and differentiated assets.”

Inflexion points

  • Commercial licences for the late pre-clinical or early clinical stages of SDC 1801/1802
  • Sierra Oncology raises funds for the further development of SRA737
  • Grant to investigate the use of TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

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