(Sharecast News) - Drug discovery and development company Sareum Holdings has made the formal selection of a development candidate from its TYK2 inhibitor programme to advance through preclinical development as a potential new targeted therapy for certain cancers, it announced on Wednesday.
The AIM-traded firm said the candidate molecule, SDC-1802, demonstrated "high selectivity" for TYK2 and JAK1 kinases - particularly over related JAK2 and JAK3.
It said SDC-1802 showed "compelling" efficacy in blocking cancer cell proliferation in cellular and disease models of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) and B-cell lymphoma, the potential for once-daily oral dosing and a good early safety profile.
In addition, Sareum said it had generated "encouraging evidence" to suggest that those molecules could function as cancer immunotherapy by modulating the host's immune system to block tumour cell proliferation in disease models of certain kidney, colon, skin and pancreatic cancers.
Sareum said it intended to progress SDC-1802 into preclinical development and, pending satisfactory progress, into human clinical trials which could begin in 2020.
The company owned the commercialisation rights for the candidates and other dual TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors with profiles optimised for oncology indications.
It had announced on 10 September that it was also advancing SDC-1801 as a distinct dual TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor for the potential treatment of autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.
SDC-1802 also had the potential to act as a backup molecule for these autoimmune indications.
"We are very pleased to have formally selected lead candidates from our TYK2 inhibitor programme for both cancer and autoimmune diseases," said chief executive officer Dr Tim Mitchell.
"The candidates are distinct small molecules with attractive and highly competitive profiles for development in their respective indications."
Dr Mitchell said both candidates had produced exciting results in preclinical disease models, and believed present valuable opportunities for licensing and further development.
"Our focus is now to advance both candidates into clinical studies, which we anticipate beginning in 2020."