Sareum Holdings plc (Sareum) (AIM: SAR), the specialist structure-based drug discovery and services business, The Institute of Cancer Research (The Institute), Europe's leading cancer research centre, and Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), the oncology focused development and commercialisation company, are pleased to announce that they have entered into a joint collaboration to develop novel cancer therapeutics.
The collaboration will establish a joint research team to target a biochemical pathway, responsible for resistance to the effectiveness of traditional cancer therapeutics, found in more than half of solid tumour types. The team will work towards developing cancer treatments with valuable benefits for cancer patients including lower doses of existing therapies, fewer adverse side-effects and efficacy where tumours currently do not respond to chemotherapy.
Sareum will use its expertise in high-throughput protein expression, structure determination computational and medicinal chemistry to identify novel compounds using its innovative Template Screening technology. Combining Sareum's experience with the vast expertise in drug development at The Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research, this joint collaboration plans to rapidly develop such compounds into more effective cancer therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, drug candidates developed by the collaboration are intended to be licensed by CRT to pharmaceutical partners for clinical trials. Payments, milestones and royalties arising from any partnering deals will be shared between Sareum, The Institute and CRT.
Commenting on the agreement, Sareum's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tim Mitchell, said: "I am delighted that we have entered into this major collaboration with such prestigious partners in the field of cancer. The collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research Technology has huge potential in the field of cancer drug discovery and I look forward to taking novel cancer therapies developed in this collaboration to the clinic."
Professor Paul Workman, Director of The Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research, said: "These are very exciting times in cancer drug development. This collaboration will bring together many years of expertise and experience in targeting cancer, which we hope will ultimately allow us to use existing drugs more effectively and hence improve cancer management."
Dr Keith Blundy, COO of Cancer Research Technology Limited said: "This partnership further exemplifies CRT's role in bringing benefit to cancer patients by forming partnerships between cancer researchers and industry to accelerate the development of new therapies. Sareum's technologies and the expertise of ICR will add significantly to the rate of progress of the programme."
For further information:
Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer
The Institute of Cancer Research 020 7153 5359
Nadia Ramsey, Science Press Officer
Cancer Research UK 020 7242 0200
Sophy Gould, Senior Press Officer
Cancer Research Technology Limited 0207 679 3640
Nick Wells, Marketing and Business Manager
Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Mark Court, Mary-Jane Johnson
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 that 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. Sareum intends to license out its 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 The Institute of Cancer Research
The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe's leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. It was founded in 1909 to carry out research into the causes of cancer and to develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. For more information please visit www.icr.ac.uk
The Institute works in a unique partnership with the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, forming the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe. The Institute is unrivalled in its record in cancer drug discovery and development.
The Institute is a charity that relies on voluntary income. The Institute is a highly cost-effective major cancer research organisation with over 90p in every £ directly supporting research.
About Cancer Research Technology Limited
Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist technology transfer and development company which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. Further information about CRT can be found at www.cancertechnology.co.uk
Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to research on the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer. The charity supports the work of 3,000 scientists, doctors and nurses in over 80 academic centres across the UK, with an annual scientific spend of more than £213 million. Further information about Cancer Research UK can be found at www.cancerresearchuk.org.