Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the structure-based drug discovery and services business admitted to AIM in October 2004, has entered into a collaborative agreement with Inpharmatica Ltd. to express and determine the structures of novel, genomics-derived Nuclear Receptor protein targets to support Inpharmatica’s drug discovery programmes.
This collaboration represents a major new deal for the recently floated Company and is on a fee-for-service basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Sareum will receive significant upfront and substantial success payments and options to include further targets in the future, potentially representing more than 60% of the budgeted revenues for the current financial year to 30 June 2005.
Sareum will utilise its skills and high-throughput processes to clone, express and purify several of Inpharmatica’s Nuclear Receptor targets and progress these through structure determination. Nuclear Receptors are an important family of druggable proteins of high therapeutic relevance in atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases, oncology, inflammation, and central nervous system disorders.
Commenting on the agreement, Sareum’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tim Mitchell, said: “We are delighted to be providing drug discovery services to Inpharmatica. The contract marks our first as a quoted company. Our expertise in high-throughput protein expression is particularly suited to the progression of these novel genomics targets and I look forward to a very successful outcome."
Commenting on the agreement, Inpharmatica’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Malcolm Weir, said: “We are very pleased to be using Sareum’s high-throughput technologies to drive our internal drug discovery forward. The potential structural information gained from this collaboration will significantly enhance our ability to understand their function and optimise novel drug candidates against these very important Nuclear Receptor targets.”
For further information:
Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer
Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Mark Court, Mary-Jane Johnson
About Sareum Holdings plc
Sareum Holdings plc is a structure based drug discovery business headquartered in Cambridge, UK. The Company was formed in August 2003 to discover new drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammation and to provide a range of drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry. Sareum’s unique approach aims to halve the time it takes to discover new drug candidates.
Structure-based drug discovery involves the determination of a disease causing protein’s three-dimensional structure. Once the structure is known, novel chemical entities are designed to ‘lock-in’ to the protein with the aim of reversing or arresting a disease’s progression.
Sareum’s approach to structure based drug discovery is to produce multiple recombinant proteins primarily through a baculovirus expression system; determine their structure using x-ray crystallography; and then use the Company’s computational chemistry expertise to create virtual, focused libraries of new chemical entities designed to interact with the target protein. Sareum then uses its high-throughput medicinal chemistry platform to rapidly synthesise these molecules and develop the most promising into potential drug candidates.
Sareum offers its accelerated drug discovery capabilities on a fee basis to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Sareum intends to license out its internally generated drug candidates at the Phase I or Phase II clinical trials stage.
Sareum joined the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2004 and trades under the symbol SAR.
Founded in 1998, Inpharmatica Ltd is a selective drug discovery company using predictive technologies to improve speed and productivity. Focusing on highly druggable targets, its unique proprietary platform, PharmaCarta™, is an integrated suite of informatics-based technologies fully capable of gene to candidate operations. Inpharmatica’s lead discovery programme is focused on generating pre-clinical candidates against 16 novel Nuclear Receptors - proteins widely considered to be both druggable and of high therapeutic interest. Other significant programmes include novel secreted proteins/antibody targets, ion channels, P450 enzymes, metalloproteinases and progestin receptors.
Inpharmatica’s initial technology was based on research from Professor Janet Thornton’s group at University College London. The Company employs approximately 100 professionals at its UK locations in London and Cambridge, with business development headed in North America. Inpharmatica has raised some £35.0m from leading venture capitalists and has sales/collaboration partnerships with Serono, Pfizer, GSK, Aventis, Daiichi, Riken, Taisho, UCB Pharma, MDL, Ionix, CellZome and Galapagos.