Sareum Holdings Plc’s (LON:SAR) SRA737 checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor candidate has potential in certain types of ovarian cancer, according to Sierra Oncology, the US firm which has licensed the compound.
Chk1 controls a cancer cell's response to DNA damage, which could be caused by the disease itself or intentionally caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Data presented at a cancer convention in Dublin suggested SRA737 showed “promising efficacy” in pre-clinical models of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC).
Sareum said the in vivo – i.e. in a living organism – data support the ongoing phase I/II monotherapy clinical trial of the compound, which is enrolling patients with these HGSOC subtypes.
The AIM company also reckons the data supports the idea that SRA737 could be useful when combined with low-dose gemcitabine – one of the most commonly prescribed chemotherapies – or PARP inhibitors, which stop cancer cells repairing themselves.
Sareum boss “encouraged” by data
An early-stage study of the compound with low-dose gemcitabine is already underway, while Sierra is preparing for a trial which will see SRA737 partnered with niraparib, a PARP inhibitor.
“The data presented today continue to provide evidence that SRA737 has potential in ovarian cancer where the tumours exhibit defective cell cycle checkpoint control and replicative stress, and which is identifiable by genetic markers,” said Sareum chief executive Tim Mitchell.
“This represents a significant proportion of HGSOC patients who currently have few treatment options. We are encouraged by the new data, which supports the rationale for Sierra's clinical study with SRA737 as a monotherapy and look forward to updates from the ongoing clinical trials in the first half of 2019.”
Sareum shares rose 4.8% on the back of the announcement to 0.81p.