Sareum Holdings plc (AIM: SAR), the specialist cancer drug discovery and development business, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement (the “Agreement”) with a China-based specialty pharmaceutical company (the “Licensee).

Under the terms of the Agreement, the Licensee has been granted an exclusive worldwide licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise certain small molecule inhibitors of FLT3+Aurora kinases including Sareum’s lead candidate SAR-20293 (together the “Compounds”), which has shown potential in preclinical models of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and other leukaemias.

The Licensee is principally engaged in research and development, production and sales of innovative drugs, including oncology drugs, in China and is listed on the main market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Under the terms of the Agreement, the Licensee will fund all future development activities in relation to the Compounds and has been granted sole rights to market any resulting products worldwide.

Sareum will receive an initial upfront payment of approximately £50,000.  A further payment of approximately £0.9 million will be payable to Sareum if certain milestones related to the oral bioavailability of the Compounds are achieved within nine months from the date of the Agreement (the “Development Payment”).  

Sareum will assign certain patents in respect of the Compounds to the Licensee upon receipt of the Development Payment.  The Agreement may be terminated with immediate effect if Sareum does not receive the Development Payment within nine months of the date of the Agreement.

Sareum will also be entitled to receive a future milestone payment in the event that an Investigational New Drug or equivalent application is made in China or any other country.

Under the Agreement, Sareum is also eligible to receive certain revenues from the commercialisation of the products by the Licensee outside of China. In addition, Sareum would be eligible to receive commercialisation revenues relating to their commercialisation should the Licensee execute an on-licence of the Compounds and resulting products to a third party.

Since all research and development expenditure is written off as it occurs, in line with standard industry practise, the Compounds covered by the Agreement are held at nil value on Sareum’s balance sheet.

Sareum was advised and assisted on this agreement by Cambridge (UK)-based technology brokerage Link China Pharma Solutions.

Sareum’s CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, commented: “We are delighted with this important global licensing deal for our FLT3+Aurora inhibitor programme, which could generate significant milestone revenue in the next nine months. We believe the Licensee has the resources and expertise to further advance these molecules through the clinic to commercialisation in China.

“With this programme now partnered, we are wholly focused on advancing the development of our proprietary TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors through preclinical studies and look forward to providing updates as material milestones are reached.”

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014

For further information, please contact: 

Sareum Holdings plc

Tim Mitchell, CEO                                                            01223 497 700

Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated Adviser)

James Dance / Richard Tulloch                                    020 7409 3494

Hybridan LLP (Nominated Broker)

Claire Noyce / John Beresford-Peirse                      020 3764 2341

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (Financial PR)

Mark Swallow/ David Dible                                          020 7638 9571