15 July 2013



Preclinical Development Candidate Selected for Aurora+FLT3 Inhibitor Programme

Sareum, the specialist cancer drug discovery business, is pleased to announce the selection of a preclinical development candidate from their Aurora+FLT3 kinase programme, which targets Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

As reported in February 2013, recent studies carried out by Sareum sought to differentiate the two most promising programme compounds. Whilst both molecules demonstrate similar efficacy in disease models, the preclinical candidate shows clear benefits in safety models and predicted human exposure, based on a number of in vitro assays.

The focus of the programme remains the treatment of AML, but both compounds also demonstrated potent cell-killing activity against other cancers, particularly Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), Neuroblastoma and Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma. Further investigation of the candidate in additional disease models will be carried out during preclinical development.

Sareum’s CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, commented: “The selection of a preclinical development candidate is a major milestone for the programme that will significantly enhance the licensing package. Our research indicates that the performance in model systems and potential for once-daily dosing of this candidate are likely to give it a competitive advantage.”

For further information:


Sareum Holdings plc

Tim Mitchell


01223 497 700

Sanlam Securities UK (Nomad)

Simon Clements


020 7628 2200

Hybridan LLP (Broker)

Claire Noyce, William Lynne


020 7947 4350 / 020 7947 4361

The Communications Portfolio Limited (Media enquiries)

Ariane Comstive



020 7536 2028

Notes for editors:

About Sareum Holdings plc

Sareum is a drug discovery company, headquartered in Cambridge UK, that produces targeted small molecule therapeutics, focusing on cancer and auto-immune disease. Sareum aims to successfully deliver drug candidates for licensing to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies at the pre-clinical or early clinical trials stage.

Sareum’s Chk1 kinase cancer research programme is a joint research collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research Technology Limited. The development candidate resulting from the collaboration increases the effectiveness of current cancer therapeutics in several in-vivo cancer models.

SKIL® (Sareum Kinase Inhibitor Library) is Sareum’s drug discovery technology platform that has so far produced the Company’s Aurora+FLT3, Aurora+ALK, VEGFR-3, FLT3 & TYK2 kinase cancer and auto-immune disease research programmes. SKIL can also generate drug research programmes against other kinase targets.

Sareum Holdings plc is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under the symbol SAR.  For further information, please visit www.sareum.co.uk


About Aurora and FLT3 Kinases

Aurora kinases A and B are required for cells to undergo mitosis. Aurora kinases are over-expressed in many tumours including colon, breast, lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers. Abrogation of Aurora kinase enzyme activity by small molecule inhibitors leads to cells leaving mitosis in the absence of cell division. The resultant cells have increased DNA content, due to failed chromosome separation, lack proliferative ability and rapidly die. These effects are specifically targeted to rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells.

FLT3/ITD (internal tandem duplication) mutation occurs in 15% to 35% of AML patients and promotes constitutive activation of the FLT3 receptor. AML patients carrying the ITD mutations are found to have a decreased overall survival.