Sareum is a UK-based drug development company, specialising in small molecule kinase inhibitors. Its flagship programmes are its pre-clinical TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors, SDC-1801 for autoimmune diseases and SDC-1802 for cancer. SDC-1801 is undergoing advanced dose finding and toxicology studies with a target to file a CTA in mid-2021. Other programmes include the CHK1 inhibitor SRA737, out licensed to Sierra Oncology (Sareum holds a 27.5% stake of the economics of the licence agreement) and the de-prioritised FLT3+Aurora kinase.
Sareum’s lead asset SDC-1801 is inching closer to completing its preclinical toxicology studies, although the decision to pursue a capsule alternative to the original suspension formulation, at the cost of a further delay in the clinical trial application (CTA) filing (now expected mid-2022), comes as a surprise. Management asserts that the new formulation adds value to the programme (removing the need to develop capsules at a later stage) and is supported by £4.6m of funds raised in calendar Q221/Q321. While we see merits in the strategy, continued delays may concern the market. Encouragingly, out-licensed asset, SRA737, seems to be gaining traction after Sierra Oncology’s decision to reassess it in combination with other targeted therapies. We expect that the next few months will be crucial for Sareum.