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Sareum notes publication of new research highlighting the therapeutic potential of SRA737 in a new drug combination targeting lung and colorectal cancers

Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist cancer drug discovery and development business, notes a new publication in the leading peer-reviewed journal, Cancer Research (an official publication of the American Association of Cancer Research; AACR), describing the anti-cancer effect of the CHK1 inhibitor, SRA737, in multiple human lung and colorectal cancer cells, when used in combination with small molecules that block the function of a family of proteins involved in DNA replication and repair (B-family DNA polymerases). This new approach was reported by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (“ICR”) and the University of Kent, who were investigating drug combinations involving SRA737 that act synergistically to kill cancer cells and that could form the basis of further research and development programmes.

SRA737 was discovered and initially developed by scientists at ICR in collaboration with Sareum, and with funding from Sareum and Cancer Research UK. SRA737 is licensed to Nasdaq-listed Sierra Oncology Inc. (“Sierra”) and has demonstrated positive safety and efficacy in combination with low-dose gemcitabine from a Phase 1/2 clinical development programme supporting standalone development in anogenital cancer. This programme is ongoing, with Sierra seeking to on-license SRA737 for further development.

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London and co-leader for the study, said:

“Our new study establishes the basis for a potentially exciting new approach to treatment involving a two-pronged attack on cancer. We found that doubling up on drugs that target the systems for repairing DNA could be effective even against cancers that do not respond to single-drug treatment.

“Our findings also provide us with a way of picking out which patients are most likely to benefit from existing CHK1 inhibitors like SRA737.”

Sareum’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr John Reader, commented:

“These new data add to the growing evidence supporting the potential of combination approaches to cancer therapy, using SRA737 with other molecules that are crucial to the DNA replication and repair mechanism. The research published today, alongside the very promising clinical and preclinical data reported by Sierra, continues to suggest SRA737 may have broad application in combination with other oncology and immune-oncology drugs in genetically defined cancer patients.”

The full announcement on the new publication from the ICR can be found in the News section of the ICR website  


R.F. Rogers et al. CHK1 inhibition is synthetically lethal with loss of B-family DNA polymerase function in human lung and colorectal cancer cells. (2020) Cancer Research

To read the paper, please follow:
DOI number: 10.1158/008-5472.CAN-19-1372

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Last Updated: 12-Mar-2020