Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist structure-based drug discovery and services business, and Almirall Prodesfarma S.A. ("Almirall"), the leading Spanish multinational pharmaceutical company, are pleased to announce that they have extended their collaborative agreement for Sareum to provide protein structure determination capabilities to accelerate drug discovery research at Almirall.
Following successful completion of the collaboration announced in August 2005, Sareum will continue to utilise its skills in protein structure determination with the aim of further illustrating the precise nature of how Almirall's potential drug candidates interact with their target proteins. This information has been of great assistance to 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 have chosen to continue with Sareum as a partner in protein structure determination. We seek to deliver the highest quality research services to our clients, and maintaining relationships with important customers such as Almirall is clear evidence of our success in doing this."
Commenting on the agreement, Almirall's, Executive Director for the R & D area, Per-Olof Andersson, said: "The resolution of the crystal structure of compound-protein complexes has permitted the elucidation of the mode of binding of different compound families to the target protein. This has been an inestimable help in the design of novel potential drug candidates with greater potency and selectivity for this therapeutic target in rheumatoid arthritis. We are, therefore, pleased to extend our successful collaboration with Sareum, so that our scientists can continue to rely on this powerful research tool."
For further information:
Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer
Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Tim Anderson, Mary-Jane Johnson
Ketchum SEIS +34 91788 3200
Victoria Hernández / Carla Cudós
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
Almirall is an international pharmaceutical company that researches, develops and commercialises its own R&D and licensed specialities with the aim of improving health and quality of life.
Almirall is to invest 750 million euros in R&D over the next five years. The therapeutic areas on which Almirall focuses its research resources are related to the treatment of asthma, COPD, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Almirall, whose headquarters are in Barcelona (Spain), has a staff of over 3,200 people, 500 of whom work in R&D and with approximately 1.000 working internationally in Almirall's affiliate companies.
Almirall is currently present in approximately 100 countries. The company has direct presence in Europe and Latin America via affiliates.
For more information: www.almirall.es