Sierra seeks strategic options for SRA737

RNS Number : 6916D
Sareum Holdings PLC
27 June 2019


27 June 2019


The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014

Sareum Holdings plc

("Sareum" or "the Company")

Sareum notes Sierra Oncology announcement that it is exploring non-dilutive options to support future continued development of SRA737

Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist cancer drug discovery and development business, notes the announcement made today by Sierra Oncology ("Sierra"), the licence holder for novel oral Chk1 inhibitor SRA737, that it is exploring non-dilutive strategic options to support the future continued development of its portfolio of potent and selective DDR (DNA Damage Response) assets, including SRA737. The decision was made by Sierra as it revealed its plans to prioritise its existing resources on the development of momelotinib, its differentiated Phase 3 drug candidate for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis.

Commenting on the plans in relation to SRA737, Nick Glover, President and CEO of Sierra Oncology, said: "We recently reported compelling proof-of-concept clinical efficacy data for SRA737 at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, demonstrating that this drug candidate has notable anti-cancer activity in multiple indications and a defined clinical path forward towards potential initial registration for the treatment of anogenital cancer, an indication with considerable unmet need."

Dr Glover continued: "While we continue to advance the assets in our DDR portfolio and view them as promising oncology drug candidates that warrant further development, we are prioritizing our resources on our lead drug, momelotinib. To support the continued development of SRA737 in the future, we intend to seek non-dilutive strategic options."

Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO of Sareum Holdings plc, added: "The clinical results presented with SRA737 at ASCO 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."

The full announcement from Sierra Oncology can be found by clicking here


For further information, please contact: 

Sareum Holdings plc


Tim Mitchell

01223 497 700

WH Ireland Limited (Nominated Adviser)

Chris Fielding / James Sinclair-Ford

020 7220 1666

Hybridan LLP (Nominated Broker)


Claire Noyce

020 3764 2341

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (Media enquiries)


Shabnam Bashir/ Mark Swallow/ David Dible

020 7638 9571


Notes for editors: 

Sareum is a specialist drug development company delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics, to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. The Company generates value through licensing its candidates to international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies at the preclinical or early clinical trials stage.

Sareum's leading clinical-stage programme, SRA737, a novel Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor licensed to NASDAQ-listed Sierra Oncology, is in Phase 2 clinical trials targeting multiple advanced cancers. The key role of Chk1 in cancer cell replication and DNA damage repair suggests that SRA737 may have broad application as a targeted therapy in combination with other oncology and immune-oncology drugs in genetically defined patients.

SRA737 was discovered and initially developed by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK in collaboration with Sareum, and with funding from Cancer Research UK. SRA737 was licensed to Sierra Oncology for up to $328.5 million plus royalties by Sareum's co-investment partner, CRT Pioneer Fund. Sareum is eligible to receive up to $88 million in milestone payments, plus sales royalties as SRA737 advances.

Notable highlights from the Phase 1/2 preliminary results reported by Sierra at ASCO (June 2019) were:

SRA737 + low dose gemcitabine (LDG) combination

·    Striking anti-tumour activity was observed in patients with anogenital cancer, including examples where metastatic disease was cleared from liver and lung.

·    Tumour size decreased by more than a third in 30% of the evaluable anogenital cancer patients and a further 30% had durable stable disease.

·    Sierra outlined a potential route to market for SRA737+LDG in anogenital cancer via a registration-intent Phase 2 trial.

SAR737 monotherapy

High-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC) appeared to be the most sensitive tumour to SRA737, with the disease being controlled (stable disease) in 54% of evaluable patients.

Sareum is also advancing internal programmes focused on distinct dual tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) /Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitors through preclinical development as therapies for autoimmune diseases (SDC-1801) and cancers (SDC-1802). TYK2 and JAK1 have roles in pro-inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases (e.g. psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and lupus) and tumour cell proliferation in certain cancers (e.g. T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and some solid tumours). The Company is targeting first human clinical trials in each indication in 2020.

The Company also has an Aurora+FLT3 inhibitor targeting haematological cancers, which is at the preclinical development stage.

Sareum Holdings plc is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, trading under the ticker SAR. For further information, please visit

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