27 September 2016: Cambridge, UK - Sareum Holdings plc (AIM:SAR), the specialist cancer drug discovery and development company, is pleased to announce that its co-investment partner, the CRT Pioneer Fund, has today licensed exclusive and worldwide rights for the Chk1 inhibitor cancer drug candidate CCT245737 (to be renamed PNT737) to ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNAI).
Under the terms of the agreement, an immediate upfront payment of US$7.0 million is due to the co-investment partners and an additional fee of up to US$2.0 million will be payable upon the successful transfer of the two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials to ProNAi. Additional payments in the aggregate amount of up to US$319.5 million may become payable upon achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
ProNAi will also owe high single to low double digit royalties on the net sales of any product successfully developed. Under Sareum’s agreements with Cancer Research Technology and the CRT Pioneer Fund, Sareum is entitled to 27.5% of these payments. Therefore, Sareum will receive (i) US$1.9 million as an upfront payment, (ii) potential future milestone payments of up to US$88.4 million, some of which are expected to be paid within the next twelve months upon certain development milestones being met and (iii) its share of any sales royalties. Furthermore, the unspent balance, estimated at c£300,000, of the financial commitment to the trial funding of £797,500 made by Sareum in December 2015 will be returned to the Company.
ProNAi is a well-funded clinical stage drug development company advancing targeted therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer. The company is comprised of a highly respected management team with a proven track record of success in oncology drug development.
PNT737 was originally developed in a research collaboration between the Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), Sareum Limited and Cancer Research Technology Ltd (CRT). The Programme was licensed to the CRT Pioneer Fund in September 2013 and a co-investment partnership with Sareum was formed to progress the candidate drug through clinical trials.
Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO of Sareum commented, “This is a major achievement for our lead candidate as well as for Sareum. Starting with the initial discovery, we have contributed financially and scientifically to the ongoing development of the programme into clinical trials. The returns from this research investment will be realised in this licence agreement, validating our strategy and business model. ProNAi is in a strong position to further the development of PNT737 and plans to expand its development into the United States and with broader clinical studies. We look forward to reporting on their progress.”
“This is another significant milestone on the development path for this promising Chk1 inhibitor. We recently initiated a Phase 1 single agent monotherapy study and a Phase 1 study of PNT737 in combination with DNA-targeting chemotherapies. ProNAi has a world-class oncology development team and is well-capitalized, and we believe these studies and the ongoing development strategy for this drug are in excellent hands,” added Dr Robert James, Managing Partner of Sixth Element Capital LLP, managers of the CRT Pioneer Fund.