Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist structure-based drug discovery and services business, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Almirall Prodesfarma S.A. ("Almirall"), a leading Spanish multinational pharmaceutical company, to provide protein structure determination capabilities to accelerate drug discovery research at Almirall.

Sareum will utilise its skills in high throughput protein expression, purification and structure determination with the aim of illustrating the precise nature of how Almirall's potential drug candidates interact with their target proteins. This information will assist Almirall's scientists in their design of new and improved therapeutics against inflammatory diseases. Terms were not disclosed.

Commenting on the agreement, Sareum's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tim Mitchell, said: "We are delighted that Almirall has chosen Sareum as their partner in protein structure determination. This is a further important collaboration that Sareum has signed since we started trading on AIM. We look forward to successful delivery of this project to Almirall and to closing additional partnerships such as this."

Commenting on the agreement, Almiralls's General Director for Research & Development,
Dr José Mª Palacios, said:
"We consider protein structure determination as an essential element in a modern drug discovery strategy, and we have high expectations that this collaboration with Sareum will allow Almirall to significantly leverage its Drug Discovery capacity."

For further information:

Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer

Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Mark Court, Mary-Jane Johnson

Ketchum SEIS +34 91788 3200
Victoria Hernández

Notes for editors:

About Sareum Holdings plc

 

Sareum Holdings plc is a specialist 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 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 template-molecule x-ray screening technology to identify new chemical entities designed to interact with the target protein. Sareum then uses its high-throughput medicinal chemistry platform to rapidly synthesise further 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 and also intends to license out any internally generated drug candidates at the Phase I or Phase II clinical trials stage.

Sareum joined the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2004 and trades under the symbol SAR. For further information, please visit www.sareum.co.uk

About Almirall

 

Almirall, a leading company committed to health, is a consolidated international pharmaceutical company that researches, develops and commercialises drugs from its own R&D, as well as licensed drugs, with the aim of improving health and quality of life.

Almirall focuses its drug discovery resources in therapeutic areas related to the treatment of asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Almirall will be investing 500 million euros in R&D over the next five years. This is the largest investment in this area by a Spanish pharmaceutical company. Forecasts for total sales in 2005 amount to 946 million euros.

Almirall, whose headquarters are in Barcelona (Spain), has a staff of over 3,200 people, approximately 500 of whom form part of the R&D team. Almirall currently has a presence in more than 100 countries with its own products and products licensed from other prestigious companies. The company is strengthening its direct presence in Europe and Latin America via affiliates.

For more information you can visit the website: www.almirall.es