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 Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (Sirtris), based in Cambridge, MA, USA. In this collaboration, Sareum will apply its expertise in high throughput protein expression, purification and structure determination to accelerate drug discovery research at Sirtris.
This information is invaluable in supporting Sirtris' scientists to develop new and improved therapeutics aimed at promoting patients' natural defenses against diseases of ageing, such as metabolic and neurological disease. In return, Sareum will receive undisclosed research fees and success milestone payments.
Commenting on the agreement, Sareum's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tim Mitchell, said: "We are very pleased that Sirtris has selected to work with Sareum as their partner in protein structure determination. This is an additional and important collaboration that Sareum has entered into in the US, which is now our major market, and provides further evidence that Sareum is a worldwide partner of choice for structure-based drug discovery."
For further information:
Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer
Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Tim Anderson, Mary-Jane Johnson
Notes for editors:
About Sareum Holdings plc
Sareum Holdings plc is a structure-based drug discovery business headquartered in Cambridge, UK. Sareum Limited 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.
A structure-based approach to drug discovery relies on knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of the proteins that cause disease. Once the structure is known, potential drugs are designed to 'lock-in' to the protein with the aim of reversing or arresting a disease's progression. Knowledge of the structure of the potential drugs and how they 'lock-in' to the protein permits the best potential drug to be discovered. Determining structure is a complex task and requires leading-edge equipment and experienced staff. Sareum's approach to structure determination is to produce multiple recombinant proteins primarily through a baculovirus expression system and to determine their structure using x-ray crystallography.
When the structure is determined, the Company's innovative Template Screening platform is used to identify novel chemical starting material designed to interact with the target protein. Sareum then uses its high-throughput medicinal chemistry platform to rapidly optimise these molecules and develop the most promising into potential drug candidates.
Sareum provides its specialist drug discovery capabilities to partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The Company aims to successfully deliver: Programmes for complete gene-to-candidate structure-based discovery; projects to accelerate or improve the productivity of specific activities; and drug candidates for licensing 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