Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist in small molecule drug development, announces its results for the year ended 30 June 2018 and provides an update of significant post-period events.
- Sierra Oncology (“Sierra”), the licence holder advancing clinical cancer candidate SRA737, discovered by Sareum and Cancer Research UK/Institute of Cancer Research, made strong progress with its clinical development programmes for the Chk1 inhibitor in patients with advanced cancer
o Phase 1/2 monotherapy trial evaluating SRA737 in patients with tumours identified to have genetic aberrations hypothesized to confer sensitivity to Chk1 inhibition, was expanded to include 145 genetically defined patients and prioritised for ovarian cancer with the addition of a further 25 patients for this indication – Phase 2 cohort expansion underway
o Phase 1/2 study of SRA737 in combination with low-dose gemcitabine was modified to include 80 genetically defined patients in four cancer indications, with a target cohort of high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients replacing the originally proposed urothelial (bladder) cancer patients – Phase 2 cohort expansion underway
o Sierra noted its plans to initiate a Phase 1b/2 combination trial of SRA737 with the orally administered PARP inhibitor, niraparib, in prostate cancer patients. The trial is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2018
o Sierra generated preclinical data providing evidence of synergy between SRA737 and immune checkpoint blockade and is currently designing a clinical study for this combination
- Sareum made good progress advancing its internal TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor programmes in autoimmune diseases and cancer
o A potent, selective small molecule inhibitor of TYK2/JAK1, SDC-1801, has been selected for formal preclinical development as a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases
o Separately, a distinct selective TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor with a profile optimised for cancer – SDC-1802 – was also nominated for preclinical development as a potential treatment for certain types of leukaemia, lymphoma and solid tumours
o Both molecules demonstrate high selectivity for TYK2 and JAK1 kinases (particularly over related JAK2 and JAK3), compelling activity in relevant disease models, the potential for once-daily oral dosing and a good early safety profile
- Sareum regained worldwide rights to preclinical-stage small molecule inhibitors of Aurora and FLT3 kinases that have shown potential in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and other haematological cancers
o The Company is seeking a licence partner for this programme while it concentrates its research resources on its TYK2/JAK1 preclinical development programmes
Financial highlights (subject to audit)
- Sareum raised £700,000 before expenses in November 2017 through a placement of 100,000,000 new ordinary shares at 0.7p per share to progress its drug development programmes as well as for working capital purposes
- Loss on ordinary activities (after taxation) of £1.47m (2017: profit of £400,000)
- Cash at bank as at 30 June 2018 was £1.38m (£2.31m as at 30 June 2017)
Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO of Sareum Holdings plc, said: “The year under review has seen important progress made by Sierra Oncology with SRA737 and internally with the nomination of lead candidates SDC-1801 and SDC-1802 from the Company’s proprietary TYK2/JAK1 programme. This progress and the increasing visibility on clinical inflection points positions the Company well to generate value for shareholders.
“We are very pleased with the confidence, commitment and decisiveness Sierra is showing with SRA737 in expanding and adapting the clinical development programme based on cutting-edge science and emerging data. We look forward to the preliminary clinical data, which is expected from both ongoing Phase 1/2 studies in the first half of 2019, and the start of a third clinical trial of SRA737 in combination with niraparib before the end of 2018.
“We are particularly pleased with the progress of our internal, proprietary TYK2/JAK1 programmes, with distinct lead candidates being selected both for autoimmune diseases (SDC-1801) and cancer (SDC-1802). The potential of TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors as a treatment modality in these indications is gaining increasing clinical and commercial validation and we believe we have strong candidates with optimised profiles in these areas.
“The advancement of these candidates through preclinical development and, pending satisfactory progress, into human clinical trials, is a clear focus for the Company. Our strategic goal is to generate compelling evidence for the potential of these candidates in their respective disease areas to facilitate a licensing agreement at an optimal value. In the meantime, we will continue discussions with potential licence partners for these exciting candidates.”