Test tubes

Drug discovery

Sareum’s drug discovery focuses on targeted small molecule therapeutics.  These are designed to disrupt the biochemical processes that drive the growth of cancers and development of auto-immune diseases.  

Biochemical process:

Sareum’s approach:

Certain cancer cells are able to repair DNA damage making them resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Targeting the biochemical processes that enable cancer cells to repair damaged DNA.
Cancer cells develop differently from normal cells in many ways. In particular, cancer cells divide and grow much more rapidly than normal cells. Targeting the biochemical processes that control cell growth and division. 
Once a solid tumour reaches a certain size, it often connects to the body's lymph systems to remove waste.  The lymph system often creates a route for a cancer to spread to other areas of the body (metastasis). Disrupting the signals that are involved in the generation of new lymph vessels to a tumour.
Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases can be caused by excess production of cytokines (signalling molecules).  Targeting the signalling processes associated with these cytokines.

Why targeted small molecule therapeutics?

Targeted cancer therapies disrupt specific biochemical processes necessary for tumour growth. These processes are specific to cancer cells and therefore may be:

  • more effective than other types of treatments, e.g. chemotherapy and radiotherapy;
  • less harmful to normal cells;

Small molecule therapeutics are different to "biological" drugs such as antibodies. They can:

  • penetrate into the interior of a cancer cells
  • be targeted at the full range of processes in a biochemical pathways; and
  • have the potential of being able to be administered orally (e.g. as a pill) rather than by injection