Lead drug being developed by partner Sierra Oncology
Encouraging preliminary efficacy data on SRA737
It has two other preclinical treatments – one for autoimmune disease the other for cancer
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. There are a further two trials planned. 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 a monotherapy and another in combination with low-dose gemcitabine, which is one of the most commonly 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%.
What else is in the pipeline
Sareum's SDC-1801 and SDC-1802 drug candidates, which are respectively being developed to treat autoimmune diseases and cancers are progressing through pre-clinical development and should undergo first in-human clinical trials in 2020. Both Sareum programmes have progressed well since being chosen in September 2018 for further development. Data items arising from some of the development work are being prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed publication and a conference presentation.
What the boss says:
Dr Tim Mitchell, chief executive of Sareum, said in a June 13 portfolio update: "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.
"The potential for our two preclinical TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors in autoimmune diseases and cancer is gaining increasing clinical validation and we are convinced that SDC-1801 and SDC-1802 represent strong and well-differentiated candidates to address diseases within these areas.
“We are focused on advancing these exciting preclinical candidates towards human trials as quickly as possible, aiming for first-in-man studies to begin in 2020.”
In a June 27 update on SRA737, he said: “The clinical results presented with SRA737 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the identification of a route to market in a cancer indication with high unmet need, together with preclinical work highlighting it in combination with other leading therapeutic modalities, clearly demonstrate the value that could be created through the further development of SRA737. We are confident that these qualities of SRA737, based on the excellent work done to date, will be recognised and that Sierra will be successful in securing the strategic options it is seeking.
“We are confident that these qualities of SRA737, based on the excellent work done to date, will be recognised and that Sierra will be successful in securing the strategic options it is seeking.”