Shares in drug developer Sareum Holdings (LSE:SAR) are up over 50% this week as the European Patent Office has now issued a formal notification of grant for a patent in respect of an invention associated with Sareum’s proprietary SDC-1802 TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor programme. The patent will come into effect on 4 May 2022.
Shares have been a little bit sluggish in the last trading session as initial enthusiasm waned, but the news brought a major boost to the company’s stock price on 11 April. Stock had been slumping, largely due to a lack of news flow. Shares had dropped from 345p six months ago, to trade at 122-125p at the start of this month. Sareum has a 52 week high of 500p and a low of 92.5p.
Who are Sareum Holdings?
The patent (EPO Patent no. EP3528806) will protect the SDC-1802 molecule and pharmaceutical preparations thereof as a therapeutic to treat T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL – a cancer of a particular type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte) and other cancers that are dependent on TYK2 kinase for survival. This programme is in preclinical development.
“This newly issued European patent for SDC-1802 expands our already broad and robust patent portfolio covering both our novel TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor candidates and further supports their commercial potential as new treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer,” explained Sareum’s CSO, Dr John Reader. “Building a strong intellectual property portfolio around our TYK2/JAK1 assets is a core strategic focus for Sareum that we believe is creating important value for our shareholders.”
What is Sareum working on right now?
Sareum is advancing internal programmes focused on distinct dual tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) / Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitors through preclinical development as therapies for autoimmune diseases, including the ‘cytokine storm’ immune system overreaction to Covid-19 and other viral infections, (SDC-1801) and cancer immunotherapy (SDC-1802). This attracted plenty of investors into the stock during the first couple of waves of the pandemic.
Sareum also has an economic interest in SRA737, a clinical-stage oral, selective Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor that targets cancer cell replication and DNA damage repair mechanisms. Preliminary Phase 2 and comprehensive preclinical data suggest SRA737 may have broad application in combination with other oncology and immune-oncology drugs in genetically defined patients.
SRA737 was discovered and initially developed by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research in collaboration with Sareum, and with funding from Sareum and Cancer Research UK. SRA737 was licensed by CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF) to Sierra Oncology. Sierra continues to explore options that would enable the development of SRA737 to advance.