SAREUM HOLDINGS PLC
("Sareum" or "the Company")
SAREUM ENTERS AGREEMENT TO ADVANCE CHK1 PROGRAMME
Sareum (AIM: SAR ), the specialist cancer drug discovery business, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a co-development agreement with the Cancer Research Technology Pioneer Fund (CPF) and London Stock Exchange-listed investment company, BACIT Ltd, to advance the Checkpoint Kinase 1 (CHK1) inhibitor candidate through pre-clinical development and Phase 1 clinical trials.
Under the agreement, CPF obtains worldwide rights to the preclinical CHK1 inhibitor programme and is responsible for future development and commercialisation, funded by CPF, BACIT and Sareum. Sareum and its original collaboration partners, The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research Technology Ltd, are entitled to an up-front fee plus success milestone and royalty payments. On successful sub-licencing of the programme, Sareum will also be entitled to a share of sub-licence payments proportional to its investment under the agreement. Financial terms of the licence are not disclosed. As part of the agreement, Sareum expects to commit up to 800,000 to the programme in its current financial year.
As outlined in Sareum's Research Update dated 18 February 2013, options for the future development of the CHK1 programme involved, either to continue licence discussions with third parties, or to progress research further before licencing the programme at a later stage. The Company believes that entering into this agreement is likely to provide a greater return to shareholders given the promising pre-clinical results the CHK1 candidate has demonstrated so far, including the compound's potential to be administered orally in future clinical studies.
CHK1 is important in controlling the way many cancer cells respond to DNA damage, which may be a consequence of the cancer itself, or intentionally caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Inhibition of CHK1 affects the ability of the cell to repair this damage and can therefore potentiate the effect of certain chemotherapeutic drugs. The candidate CHK1 inhibitor to be developed could potentially treat a range of cancers including pancreatic, bowel and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with DNA-damaging chemotherapy drugs and/or radiotherapy. The inhibitor could also potentially treat certain neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) types when dosed alone.
Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO of Sareum said:
"The agreement we are announcing today is an important milestone for Sareum as we enter into a new phase with our most advanced programme. It will enable the programme to move swiftly towards, and potentially into, Phase I clinical trials whilst allowing us to continue to fund other important programmes. Furthermore, the successful outcome of further development should pave the way for the commercialisation of a novel and broadly applicable cancer treatment. We look forward to working with our new collaboration partners and updating shareholders on our progress."