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Sareum update reveals extent of progress made by co's licence partner

Sareum has partnered with Sierra Oncology to advance the company's Checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor
cancer cells from taken by an electron microscope
The company's lead drug, SRA737, has the potential to treat multiple cancers

Interim results from Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) charted a period of significant progress for the cancer drug developer and its licence partner Sierra Oncology.

Sareum said Sierra had made “strong progress” with the two clinical studies of its Checkpoint kinase 1, or Chk1 inhibitor, SRA737.

This has led to a significant expansion of the development programme going into 2018.

Last month Sierra said the Phase I portion of the Phase I/II clinical trial of SRA737 as a single cancer therapy was in the final stages.

Phase II group expanded

Encouragingly, Phase II has been expanded to include more patients across six cancer indications and at a larger number of clinical sites.

In parallel, Sierra is running a Phase I/II trial using SRA737 in combination with low-dose Gemcitabine, one of the most commonly prescribed chemotherapies.

Phase II of this trial is expected to get underway in the second-quarter, with the enrolment of 80 genetically selected patients across four indications.

Sierra plans to start an early-stage clinical study of SRA737 in combination with a PARP inhibitor in the final quarter of the year. PARP inhibitors prevent cancer cells repairing themselves.

Chief executive, Dr Tim Mitchell, said he had been “encouraged” by Sierra’s progress and by the potential of SRA737 to treat multiple cancers.

“We look forward to initial results from the innovative clinical trials expected in the fourth quarter of 2018 and further programme updates during the year,” he added.

Separately, Sareum said its TYK2 inhibitor autoimmune disease and cancer research programmes advanced with “distinct small molecules” moving into candidate selection for pre-clinical development. CEO Mitchell said he was “pleased” with the progress in this regard.

Rude financial health

The company ended last year with just under £2.2mln in the bank, having raised an additional £700,000 in November.

Investors who backed that funding round at 0.7p a share are now sitting on a decent profit with the shares closing Monday at 0.9p.

As is common for companies at this formative stage of their development, Sareum was loss-making – to the tune of £722,000.

READ: Clinical development programme expands 

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