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Summit Corporation PLC (SUMM)

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Tuesday 29 April, 2008

Summit Corporation PLC

Research Update - New Positive Data from DMD Pr...

Summit Corporation plc
("Summit plc" or "the Company")
*��� Drug candidate SMT C1100 boosts muscle strength and function in
  preclinical studies
*��� Third independent verification of Summit's therapeutic approach
Oxford, UK, 29 April 2008 - Summit Corporation plc (AIM: SUMM), a
leading UK biotechnology company, today reports positive data from
the Company's preclinical development programme targeting the fatal
genetic disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
In a series of tests using the 'gold standard' preclinical in-vivo
model of DMD, SMT C1100 was shown to increase significantly the
strength of muscles when compared to no treatment. �A synergistic
benefit in reducing muscle fatigue during exercise (ability to walk
longer distances) was seen with SMT C1100 and steroid treatment
(prednisolone).� Steroids are currently the only frontline therapy
for DMD.
Importantly, this study, which�demonstrates a reduction in muscle
fatigue during exercise, is a surrogate for the agreed primary
clinical endpoint in human clinical trials. It is designed to
demonstrate that patients' muscle function is improved by measuring
the increase in distance they can walk.
These latest data were presented to leading research scientists and
companies in the field of neuromuscular diseases at the New
Directions in Muscle Biology and Diseases conference, held in New
Orleans, USA (27-30 April). �A copy of the presentation is available
on request from
The studies' were undertaken at the University of Bari, Italy, by
Professor Annamaria De Luca, a leading expert in neuromuscular
diseases, and is the third independent verification of the potential
of Summit's unique therapeutic approach to treating DMD.� Summit's
plan is to conclude preclinical development work by the end of 2008
and begin Phase I clinical trials shortly afterwards.
Commenting on the results, Professor Kate Bushby, a leading clinician
and researcher in neuromuscular diseases at Newcastle University,
said: "These are very encouraging results, which, if they can be
replicated in patients, will provide real optimism that an effective
long-term treatment for DMD can be developed."
Richard Storer, DPhil, Chief Scientific Officer of Summit commented:
"We are very pleased with how our DMD programme is progressing.� In
preclinical studies to date, SMT C1100 has shown positive results
consistently that give us great confidence that we will soon be able
to progress this novel candidate into patients. If it is successful
in the clinic, this will be a first in class drug offering
considerable hope to all DMD patients. Furthermore, it will offer
potential partners a significant commercial advantage in this area of
high unmet medical need and strengthens our portfolio of exciting
drug programmes targeting acne, Parkinson's disease and oncology, all
of which represent attractive licensing opportunities."
About DMD and Summit's Therapeutic Approach
DMD is a fatal neuromuscular disease that only affects young males.
Owing to an inherited genetic defect, DMD patients lack an important
protein called dystrophin, which is crucial to maintaining muscle
integrity. The absence of dystrophin results in extensive muscle
wasting that severely restricts the mobility of DMD patients by their
teen years and is ultimately fatal in their twenties.� There is no
cure for the disease and steroid treatment, the only frontline
therapy, acts to only delay the patients' requirement of a
Summit has identified SMT C1100, a proprietary small molecule that
acts to replace the missing dystrophin by increasing levels of a
functionally similar protein called utrophin. Summit believes the
major advantages of this approach is that it is an oral drug and has
the potential to be effective in the treatment of all DMD patients,
whereas other current treatments in development are expected to be
limited to specific groups of patients.
                             -- ENDS --
For more information, please contact:
Summit plc
Steven Lee, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
Darren Millington, ACMA, Chief Financial Officer
Richard Pye, PhD, Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1235 443951; +44 (0)7825 313476
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Mark Swallow, PhD / David Dible / Sylvie Berrebi
Tel: +44 (0)207 638 9571
Panmure Gordon
Andrew Burnett / Rakesh Sharma (Corporate Finance)
Ashton Clanfield (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0)207 459 3600

About Summit plc
Summit plc is a leading UK biotechnology company that discovers and
develops proprietary new drugs. The Company's internal drug
development programmes are underpinned by its advanced carbohydrate
chemistry and zebrafish drug screening technology platforms, which it
also provides on a collaborative or fee-for-service basis to the
pharmaceutical industry.
Summit plc has a broad range of drug discovery programmes in the
clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages of development, which
target serious diseases with a high unmet medical need. These
therapeutic areas include neurological disorders, anti-infectives,
ophthalmic diseases and oncology.
Summit plc's in-house drug development capabilities combine
world-class expertise in both carbohydrate chemistry with
high-volume, high-content screening using its proprietary zebrafish
technologies. These whole organism screens have the potential to
dramatically decrease the time and cost of drug discovery and
development by delivering data that are highly predictive of the
efficacy and toxicity of potential drug compounds in humans.
The company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in
October 2004 - symbol: SUMM� Further information about the company is
available at