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13 August, 2021 - 20:50 By Tony Quested

Hat-trick of successes for Sareum Holdings

Cambridge drug discovery company Sareum Holdings has been handed a triple boost in its bid to help conquer cancers.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent in respect of an invention associated with Sareum’s proprietary SDC-1802 TYK2/JAK1 Kinase Inhibitor Programme.

The patent will protect the SDC-1802 molecule and pharmaceutical preparations thereof as a therapeutic to treat cancer selected from pancreatic, colorectal and kidney cancers, melanoma, and B-cell lymphoma by inhibiting TYK2 kinase. This programme is in preclinical development.

The company expects that the patent will be granted within three months, subject to certain formalities being completed.

Sareum’s CSO, Dr John Reader, said: “The granting of this patent in the US will provide a further layer of protection around SDC-1802 following the granting of patents protecting the molecule in the US and other major markets in recent years. These patents are important to enhancing the value of the programme as part of our discussions with potential partners.”

Sareum has also raised £1 million before expenses through a subscription by a high net worth individual for 14,285,714 new ordinary shares of 0.025p.

The net proceeds will be used to progress the company’s SDC-1801 and SDC-1802 TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor drug development programmes as well as for working capital purposes. 

Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO of Sareum Holdings plc, said: “We are delighted that our proprietary TYK2/JAK1 development programmes are attracting such interest and new investment. 

“With this new subscription, the total funds raised from recent subscriptions and warrant exercises is over £3.5 million. These new funds will allow us both to advance SDC-1801 into clinical development in autoimmune diseases, including the immune overreaction to Covid-19 and other viral infections, and to progress the preclinical development of our second TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor SDC-1802 against cancers.”

Sareum further reports that Sierra Oncology, the licence holder for SRA737 (a novel Chk1 inhibitor), has announced a global in-licensing agreement with Cambridge-based AstraZeneca for AZD5153, a novel BRD4 BET inhibitor, to expand its myelofibrosis pipeline.

SRA737 was discovered and initially developed by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research in collaboration with Sareum and with funding from Sareum and Cancer Research UK. SRA737 was licensed to Sierra in September 2016.

In discussing the rationale for adding AZD5153 to its pipeline, Sierra referred to possible pipeline expansion opportunities in other haematologic or solid tumour indications, through potential combinations with SRA737, immune-oncology agents, PARP inhibitors and drugs with other mechanisms of action.

Sierra also noted that AZD5153 had shown preclinical efficacy in combination with a diverse range of agents, and that synergy between AZD5153 and a family of DNA damage response agents, known as ATR inhibitors, suggested potential utility in combination with SRA737.

In its 10-K filing, published yesterday, Sierra reiterated that it is focusing its resources on the development of momelotinib and exploring options to potentially support the continued development of SRA737.

Dr Mitchell said: “It is encouraging to note from Sierra’s investor call that, while it has made no commitment towards the further development of SRA737, it sees further potential opportunities for this novel agent following the addition of AZD5153 into its pipeline.

“We remain optimistic that Sierra will find a solution to advance development of the SRA737 programme in the future.”

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