THE INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS DEEMED BY THE COMPANY TO CONSTITUTE INSIDE INFORMATION AS STIPULATED UNDER THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (EU) NO. 596/2014, AS AMENDED ("MAR"). ON THE PUBLICATION OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT VIA A REGULATORY INFORMATION SERVICE ("RIS"), THIS INSIDE INFORMATION IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.
(“DiscovOre plc” or the “Company”)
Period of Exclusivity Conditional Investment Agreement with Sirgartan Therapeutics & Strategic Advisors
Particulars of the RIS Announcement
1. Conditional Investee Overview: Sirgartan Therapeutics
2. Underlying Terms of the Conditional Investment Agreement
3. Strategic Advisors
4. Director Statement
1. Overview: Sirgartan Therapeutics (“Sigartan”)
Further to the announcement on 24th June 2021 whereby the Company posted a circular to convene a General Meeting on 13th July 2021 to approve a broadened investment strategy enabling lawful investment into medical psychedelic opportunities, the Company is pleased to provide a commercial update regarding the execution of a Period of Exclusivity & Conditional Investment Agreement with Sirgartan Therapeutics (“Sirgartan”).
Sirgartan is developing a novel glutamatergic therapy that could make a significant difference in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (“OCD”), a debilitating and common mental illness, and is then looking to augment it with a psychoactive compound as a co-therapy.
Sirgartan is an early-stage, pre-revenue therapeutics company aiming to transform the treatment landscape for patients with OCD and other related disorders through the development of an innovative glutamatergic therapy. The company was established in 2020 with the mission of improving treatment options for OCD, a field which has historically been underfunded and seen limited innovation.
Sirgartan has identified an obtainable market opportunity of >£300M for the treatment of OCD patients in the EU5 countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. Following penetration of key EU5 markets, it plans to launch the product in other geographies for OCD and pursue steps for label expansion to other indications.
Mr Jon Tancock (Director)
Managing Director at OLR Consulting, Jon provides consultancy services to start-up enterprises within pharmaceutical, scientific, technology and RE / investment sectors covering areas including corporate structure, seed capital, establishment, development and funding options / investment in potential ‘rapid growth’ opportunities. Jon has worked with, and for, some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Jon has a BSc in Pure and Applied Chemistry and has experience in bioprocess system design within European and US Biopharmaceutical / Medical device sector.
Dr Nick Sireau (Director)
Chair and Founder of Orchard, a non-profit focused on accelerating research into OCD and developing new and better treatments for this debilitating mental disorder.
Nick is also Chair and CEO of the AKU Society, a non-profit that helps patients with the ultra rare genetic disease Alkaptonuria (AKU, also known as Black Bone Disease). Nick recently co-led DevelopAKUre, an international consortium of clinical trial centres, universities, pharmaceutical companies and patient groups that successfully carried out phase 2 and phase 3 studies of a small molecule treatment for AKU called nitisinone that was authorised by the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission in 2020. Nick is also Chair and Co-founder of Findacure, a non-profit that focuses on all rare diseases, and founder of NovAKUre, a biotech owned by the AKU Society.
Nick holds an MSc in Business Management and PhD in Social Psychology.
Mr Vincenzo Garyza (Non Executive Director)
Head of Business Planning & Operations and Chief of Staff for Data Science and AI at AstraZeneca. Vincenzo has over 20 years’ experience across Strategy & Operations, Medical Affairs, Business Development and Project Management within R&D at leading multinational pharmaceutical companies. He co-founded Orchard Charity together with Nick Sireau where he remains a Trustee.
Vincenzo holds a MSc in Organic Chemistry from Bologna University and an MBA in strategic Management from Aston Business School. He is also an Honorary Associate of the Cambridge Judge Business School and is an inventor on multiple patents.
Professor Trevor Robbins (Senior Advisor to Sirgartan)
Professor Robbins works in the areas of neuropsychopharmacology and behavioural and cognitive neuroscience. Professor Robbins has strong interests in drug discovery, having consulted for most of the major pharmaceutical companies, and in translational research (as Director of the MRC/Wellcome Trust co-funded Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute). Professor Robbins is a co-inventor of CANTAB, a widely-used computerised cognitive test battery which is made available by Cambridge Cognition plc. H index >150, citations>70,000 (Web of Science). In top-cited in Neuroscience list. Recent accomplishments: Distinguished Research Contribution, American Psychological Association, 2011; Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize; 2014. Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award 2014.
Prof Robbins is leading a major research study into the neuroscience of OCD at the University of Cambridge.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting mental health condition in which a person experiences uncontrollable, intrusive and reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviours (compulsions) that (s)he feels the urge to repeat over and over, in the attempt to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
At least 50% of the European population will suffer from mental health illness during their lifetime. Mental (also known as psychological or psychiatric) disorders can be paralysing and life-threatening for an individual and have substantial impact on the wider community. Mental disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide and present a major disease burden.
In 2010, mental illness was the largest cause of disability in the UK. It contributed up to 22.8% of the total, while cancer represented 15.9% and cardiovascular disease 16.2%.
The cost of mental illness in England alone was estimated to be £105.2 billion a year and growing. This estimate took into account direct costs of services, lost productivity at work and reduced quality of life.
Mental disorders are extremely diverse and to date understudied. Despite increasing awareness, psychological disorders are surrounded by stigma and they are often overlooked. In comparison with physical health, mental health care is largely neglected with limited availability, accessibility, and quality of treatments.
Sirgartan believes that mental illness should no longer be underestimated and stigmatized. Novel treatments and therapies are desperately needed, and resources invested into their development will be repaid by economic and social growth of a healthier society.
Glutamatergic drugs, such as the one targeted by Sirgartan, are also being studied as treatments for a number of psychiatric disorders and have important potential in the treatment of OCD. This drug, if brought to market, could be life-changing for the millions of OCD patients showing resistance to available treatments.
Sirgartan is aiming to develop this unique therapy as an OCD treatment. The application of this molecule could then be extended to other related mental disorders.
2. Underlying Terms of the Conditional Investment Agreement
Period of Exclusivity:
- Period of Exclusivity to be over 30 business days
- Due Diligence of the opportunity and ensuring the opportunity is consistent with the Company’s legal opinion.
- Subject to the shareholders consenting to the resolutions at the General Meeting on 13th July 2021 permitting investment in medical psychedelic opportunities.
- Completion of Sirgartan internal report to be submitted to the company and its legal counsel to ensure consistency with legal opinion
Conditional Investment Agreement:
Subject to the terms outlined in the period of exclusivity the company have entered a conditional investment agreement enabling an acquisition of up to a minimum of 20% of Sirgartan Therapeutics through a subscription for new ordinary shares. The company will update the market accordingly on definitive terms being agreed by all parties should DiscovOre plc elect to proceed.
3. Strategic Advisors
Subject to the completion of the definitive investment agreement, the Company will form an advisory board that shall be comprised of Mr Jon Tancock, Mr Vincenzo Garzya and Dr Nick Sireau. On appointment, each advisor shall be awarded 500,000 Options with a strike price of 4p and a life to expiry of 3-years. The options shall vest on completion of 6-months of service.
The role of the advisors will be to provide the company a quarterly management report of the activities and requirements of Sirgartan and to also contribute broader oversight of potential opportunities and where appropriate introduce members of the medical psychedelic community that may compliment the company’s investment portfolio in the medical psychedelics industry.
4. Director, Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi, commented:
“Sirgartan represents a well-formed and structured opportunity for the company as, today, we look to broaden our investment policy to include medical psychedelics. It is also important that the company align themselves with a team such as Sirgartan that command a strong track record, a wealth of experience and credibility
Sirgartan’s scientific approach, focus on commerciality and innovative strategy to introduce a psychoactive compound as co-therapy represents a balanced and formulaic proposition in identifying an augmented treatment for those suffering with OCD.
As we continue to progress our review of Sirgartan, the company will be publishing marketing material that will be distributed for our shareholders and the wider market.”
London, 13th July 2021
The Directors of the Company, who have issued this RIS announcement after due and careful enquiry, accept responsibility for its content.
Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi (Director)
Conrad Windham (Director)
Direct Office Line: +44 (0) 20 3778 0755
Peterhouse Capital Limited
Guy Miller & Mark Anwyl
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7220 9796
 Bobes J, Gonzalez MP, Bascaran MT, Arango C, Saiz PA, Bousono M. (2001). Quality of life and disability in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eur Psychiatry 2001;16:239-45.
 Saxena, S., Bota, R.G., Brody, A.L., (2001). Brain–behavior relationships in obsessive– compulsive disorder. Semin. Clin. Neuropsychiatry 6 (2), 82–101.
 Atmaca, M. (2015). Treatment-refractory obsessive compulsive disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 2016 Oct 3;70:127–33.