Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist structure-based drug discovery business, announced today that it has entered into an initial 12-month collaborative agreement with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (J&JPRD), a Division of Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sareum will apply its skills in high throughput protein structure determination to assist J&JPRD scientists in developing new and improved therapeutics to help patients suffering from diseases of the central nervous system. In return, Sareum will receive technology access fees and success-dependent milestone payments. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Commenting on the agreement, Sareum's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tim Mitchell, said: "We are very excited to collaborate with J&JPRD and look forward to using our technology and expertise in this area to find new therapies for patients."
For further information:
Sareum Holdings 01223 497700
Tim Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer
Buchanan Communications 020 7466 5000
Tim Anderson, Mary-Jane Johnson, Simon Potter
Notes for editors:
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. 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 their target protein assists greatly in the development of high-quality drug candidates. Determining structure is a complex task and requires leading-edge equipment and experienced staff. Sareum's approach to structure determination utilises its proprietary protein expression platform in order to produce multiple recombinant proteins that accelerate structure determination using x-ray crystallography.
Once the structure is determined, the Company's innovative fragment screening platform is used to identify novel chemical templates 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 aims to successfully deliver drug candidates for licensing to larger pharmaceutical companies at the pre-clinical or early clinical trials stage. This is funded by provision of its specialist drug discovery capabilities to partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
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