Summit Corporation plc
("Summit" or "the Company")
SUCCESSFUL ACHIEVEMENT OF FURTHER RESEARCH MILESTONE IN C. DIFFICILE PROGRAMME
* SMT 19969 Nominated as Preclinical Development Candidate
* Summit to receive £925,000 payment
Oxford, UK, 12 May 2011, Summit (AIM: SUMM), a UK drug discovery Company,
announces that it has nominated SMT 19969 as the preclinical development
candidate in its programme developing new antibiotics that target infection
caused by the hospital 'superbug' Clostridium difficile ('C. difficile').
The selection of SMT 19969 as the development candidate achieves a further
research milestone in Summit's collaboration with the Wellcome Trust and has
triggered a £925,000 payment to Summit to advance SMT 19969 towards clinical
Clostridium difficile infection ('CDI') represents a serious medical issue in
hospitals and long-term care homes and there is growing concern about its spread
to the wider community. The combined annual cost of care in Europe and North
America is estimated at over $7 billion.
Current treatment options are limited and are associated with high levels of
recurrent disease, which is the major clinical issue since repeat episodes of
infection are often more severe. The increase in disease severity due to
infection with established and emerging hyper-virulent C. difficile strains,
including BI/NAP1/027, also represents a significant medical concern.
A Targeted Antibiotic for the Treatment of C. difficile Infection
SMT 19969 is a novel, small molecule, oral antibiotic that has the potential to
become the front-line drug for the treatment of CDI.
The nominated candidate has been selected from a series of compounds discovered
by scientists at Summit. SMT 19969 will now advance through formal preclinical
development studies, the successful completion of which will enable it to enter
human clinical trials. Summit anticipates that an application to regulatory
authorities to commence clinical trials will be submitted in Q3 2012.
Non-clinical efficacy studies show that SMT 19969 is targeted exclusively to the
site of infection in the GI tract and has potent activity against all known
clinical isolates of C. difficile, including the endemic hyper-virulent strains.
Compared with antibiotics currently on the market or in development, SMT 19969
has unprecedented selectivity for C. difficile bacteria which leaves the healthy
gut bacteria unharmed. It is this narrow spectrum of activity, and resultant
lack of disruption to healthy gut bacteria, that is important in naturally
preventing the recurrence of CDI and improving the prognosis for patients.
Additionally, unlike other CDI drugs, studies to date show C. difficile has not
developed any resistance to SMT 19969. The preclinical drug candidate also has
an excellent safety profile following the assessment in a series of in vivo and
in vitro toxicology studies.
Dr Barry Price, Executive Chairman of Summit commented: "Summit is very excited
at the prospects for SMT 19969 as a preclinical development candidate because we
firmly believe it has the ideal profile to become the antibiotic of choice for
the treatment of C. difficile infection.
"The financial support of the Wellcome Trust has allowed our scientists to
generate a data package that shows SMT 19969 can address the key clinical issues
associated with CDI and its anti-bacterial profile is superior to existing
Summit's C. difficile programme has been supported by a prestigious Seeding Drug
Discovery Award from the Wellcome Trust. Dr Tim Knott, Business Development
Manager at the Wellcome Trust added, "C. difficile continues to pose a
significant healthcare threat and this advancement in Summit's programme
represents a major step forward towards the development of new and effective
- END -
For more information, please contact:
Barry Price, PhD,
Richard Pye, PhD Tel: +44 (0)1235 443 939
Singer Capital Markets (Nominated Adviser)
Shaun Dobson / Claes Spång Tel: +44 (0)20 3205 7500
Tarquin Edwards Tel: +44 (0)7879 458 364
Notes to Editors
About C. difficile infections
Clostridium difficile infection ('CDI') is a significant medical problem in
hospitals, long-term care facilities, and in the wider community. It is a
serious illness caused by infection of the inner lining of the colon by C.
difficile bacteria, which produces toxins that cause inflammation of the colon,
severe diarrhoea and, in the most serious cases, death. Patients typically
develop CDI from the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that disrupt normal
gastrointestinal (gut) flora, and thus allowing C. difficile bacteria to
Current therapeutic options for CDI include the off-label use of metronidazole
and oral vancomycin, the only FDA-approved treatment. However, approximately
20% to 30% of CDI patients who initially respond to these treatments experience
a clinical recurrence following cessation of antibiotic administration.
Primary risk factors for CDI include broad-spectrum antibiotic use (eg
cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones that effect a wide range of bacteria),
advanced age (over 65) and exposure to emerging hyper-virulent strains
(BI/NAP1/027) of C. difficile. Increasing incidence, higher treatment failures
and recurrence with current therapies have resulted in greater awareness and
concern of CDI among medical professionals and public health officials.
Summit is an Oxford, UK based drug discovery company with an innovative
technology platform called Seglins(TM) for the discovery of new medicines, a
portfolio of drug programme assets and a commercial strategy of signing multiple
Seglin(TM) technology is using new chemistry to access biological drug targets
that cannot be exploited by conventional drug discovery approaches. Summit's
internal research is currently focussed in the high-value therapy areas and the
Company will further exploit the technology's wider potential through strategic
alliances. Summit's programme portfolio consists of a number of drug programmes
targeting high-value areas of unmet medical need including Duchenne Muscular
Dystrophy and C. difficile infection.
Summit's commercial strategy focuses on signing multiple early-stage drug
programme and technology platform deals that generate upfront cash, remove
development costs from the Company, and retain valuable upside potential.
Summit is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under
the ticker symbol SUMM. Further information is available at www.summitplc.com.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving
extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest
minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of
support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to
improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.
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Source: Summit Corporation PLC via Thomson Reuters ONE