VANCOUVER, BC – ProNAi Therapeutics has changed its corporate name to Sierra Oncology.
According to company president and CEO Dr. Nick Glover, the name change better reflects the company’s oncology focus, specifically its pipeline of therapies that target the DNA Damage Response (DDR) network.
“We believe there is a significant opportunity for therapeutics that target the DDR network to have broad potential in the treatment of cancer, and that by successfully advancing our new drug candidates in this field we may generate substantial long-term value for our company,” said Glover. “Our new name, Sierra Oncology, reflects our focus on this approach and the commitment of our management team to charting innovative paths for developing novel therapeutics against cancer.”
Additionally, the company has successfully in licensed sponsorship of two ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials evaluating its Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor, SRA737, from the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development, where it was discovered and initially developed. In accordance with the license agreement for SRA737, a $2.0 million fee is due to CRT Pioneer Fund LP for the achievement of this milestone.
“SRA737 targets Chk1, a key cell cycle checkpoint and central regulator of the DDR network, an exciting emerging target in oncology that has broad clinical and commercial potential,” said Glover.
“Working with the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, we are charting an expanded and optimized development plan for SRA737,” adds Dr. Barbara Klencke, chief development officer of Sierra Oncology. “In particular, we are keen to evaluate SRA737’s potential to induce synthetic lethality as monotherapy in certain genetically-defined patient cohorts, while also exploring its potentiating effects in combination with chemotherapy.”
The company is concurrently also conducting preclinical research evaluating SRA737 in combination with other DDR agents including PARP inhibitors and Sierra Oncology’s proprietary Cdc7 inhibitor, SRA141, as well as with immuno-oncology therapeutics.
Finally, effective on January 10th, shares for the company will trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol ‘SRRA.’