13 November 2018

Sareum Holdings plc

("Sareum" or "the Company")

Directorate Change

Michael Owen, Ph.D and Clive Birch appointed as Non-Executive Directors

Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist small molecule drug development company, is pleased to announce the appointments of Michael Owen PhD and Clive Birch as Non-Executive Directors.

Michael Owen (67) has worked in biomedical research, and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for nearly 40 years. He is the co-founder and first CSO of Kymab Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, UK, prior to which he worked for GSK where he was SVP and Head of Research for Biopharmaceuticals R&D. Dr Owen currently serves on the boards of several public and private biotechnology companies in the UK, Europe and the USA, including Avacta Group plc, ReNeuron plc, GammaDelta Therapeutics and Zealand Pharma A/S. He is also the Chairman of Ossianix Inc. In addition, Dr Owen is Chairman of ReNeuron’s and Avacta’s scientific advisory boards, an advisor to Abingworth LLP and was until recently an advisor to the CRT Pioneer Fund. Dr Owen received a MA from Oxford University and a PhD from Cambridge University, and is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Clive Birch (65) is an Independent Non-Executive Director of Cambridge Innovation Capital plc, a Cambridge-based builder of technology and healthcare companies. He is a retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers where his role was that of an auditor and reporting accountant with an industry specialism in early stage technology and healthcare companies. He was also part of the teams involved in fund raising and listing those clients on various markets. Mr Birch was also partner in charge of PwC’s Cambridge office for 15 years up to 2010, during which time he was responsible for all aspects of that stand-alone business. Mr Birch is a Governor of Birkbeck College, part of London University.

Dr Stephen Parker, Chairman of Sareum Holdings plc, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mike and Clive to the board of Sareum. They bring significant experience in the development of innovative product candidates and technologies, and in financial management and corporate governance, respectively. We believe this experience and expertise will be highly valuable in guiding Sareum’s future growth and strategy to generate value for shareholders. In consequence of these appointments, we will be constituting advisory committees of the board which will increase our compliance with QCA guidelines.”

The following information is disclosed pursuant to Schedule Two paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies.

Michael Owen, aged 67, has been a director of the following companies during the five years preceding the date of this announcement:

Current directorships: Avacta Group plc, ReNeuron plc, GammaDelta Therapeutics Ltd, Ossianix Inc, Ossianix UK Ltd, Iskuda Therapeutics Ltd, Zealand Pharma A/S, The Club Cricket Organisation Ltd

Past directorship: BliNK Biomedical SAS

Clive Birch, aged 65, has been a director of the following companies during the five years preceding the date of this announcement:

Current directorships: Cambridge Innovation Capital plc, Pigeon Land Limited, Pigeon Land 2 Limited, Pigeon (Shelford) Limited, Pigeon (Uplands & Heigham) Limited and Chrib Ltd.

Clive Birch has been a partner of the following partnerships during the five years preceding the date of this announcement:

Current partnerships: Pigeon East of England LP and Pigeon (Sawston) LLP.

Save as set out above there are no further disclosures pursuant to Rule 17 or Schedule Two paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies.

Neither Dr Owen nor Mr Birch has any beneficial interest in the ordinary shares of the Company.

For further information, please contact: 

Sareum Holdings plc


Tim Mitchell

01223 497 700

WH Ireland Limited (Nominated Adviser)

Chris Fielding / James Sinclair-Ford

020 7220 1666

Hybridan LLP (Nominated Broker)


Claire Noyce

020 3764 2341

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (Media enquiries)


Shabnam Bashir/ Mark Swallow/ David Dible

020 7282 9571

Notes for editors: 

Sareum is a specialist drug development company delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics, to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. The Company generates value through licensing its candidates to international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies at the preclinical or early clinical trials stage.

Sareum’s leading clinical-stage programme, SRA737, a novel Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor licensed to NASDAQ-listed Sierra Oncology, is in Phase 2 clinical trials targeting ovarian and other advanced cancers. The key role of Chk1 in cancer cell replication and DNA damage repair suggests that SRA737 may have broad application as a targeted therapy in combination with other oncology and immune-oncology drugs in genetically defined patients.

Sareum is also advancing internal programmes focused on distinct dual tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) /Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitors through preclinical development as therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancers. TYK2 and JAK1 have roles in pro-inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases (e.g. psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and lupus) and tumour cell proliferation in certain cancers (e.g. T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and some solid tumours). The Company is targeting first human clinical trials in each indication in 2020.

The Company also has an Aurora+FLT3 inhibitor targeting haematological cancers, which is at the preclinical development stage.

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

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