Summit Discovers Multiple New Mechanism Antibiotics Against Novel ESKAPE Pathogen Targets

Summit Therapeutics plc 
(‘Summit’ or the ’Company’)
Summit Discovers Multiple New Mechanism Antibiotics Against Novel ESKAPE Pathogen Targets

  • Discovery Enabled by Discuva Platform and Proprietary Bacterial Libraries

Oxford, UK, and Cambridge, MA, US, 6 September 2018 – Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SMMT, AIM: SUMM), a leader in new mechanism antibiotic innovation, announced today the discovery of multiple new mechanism antibiotics against novel ESKAPE pathogen targets. Commonly referred to as superbugs, the ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp.) collectively comprise the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections globally. New classes of antibiotics are urgently needed to address these pathogens that are increasingly developing resistance to existing antibiotic drug classes.

“We believe we are building a very different antibiotics company that focuses on bringing innovation to an area of high unmet need. With new science, we believe the threat of ESKAPE pathogens and other serious infectious diseases can potentially be solved,” commented Mr Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit. “At the core of our innovation is our powerful Discuva Platform. The platform allows us to uncover possible new ways to combat the potentially deadly ESKAPE pathogens. We can then aim to exploit this knowledge through the discovery and development of targeted new mechanism antibiotics.”

Summit’s Discuva Platform utilises proprietary libraries of mutant bacteria to identify genes which are essential for bacteria to survive. Summit’s libraries provide coverage across the ESKAPE pathogens. Through the Discuva Platform, Summit has identified essential ESKAPE pathogen genes, which could represent novel drug targets against these pathogens. Several of these targets are now the focus of Summit’s drug development programmes, with the platform having already discovered potential new mechanism antibiotics against them.

“We believe the identification of novel targets gives us the potential to develop the right drugs for the right bacteria, infection and patient. That would enable us to ensure that our antibiotics truly meet the needs of patients, their treating physicians and healthcare providers and to promote antibiotic stewardship,” added Dr David Roblin, President of R&D of Summit. “We believe this approach will afford us the opportunity to replace the current standards of care for these serious infections caused by the ESKAPE pathogens and bring potentially life-saving treatments to patients.”

About Summit Therapeutics
Summit Therapeutics is a leader in antibiotic innovation. Our new mechanism antibiotics are designed to become the new standards of care for the benefit of patients, and create value for payors and healthcare providers. We are currently developing new mechanism antibiotics for C. difficile infection and gonorrhoea and are using our proprietary Discuva Platform to expand our pipeline. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @summitplc.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014 (MAR).


Glyn Edwards / Richard Pye (UK office) Tel: 44 (0)1235 443 951
Erik Ostrowski / Michelle Avery (US office)   +1 617 225 4455
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nominated Adviser) Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880
Liam Murray / Tony Rawlinson    
N+1 Singer (Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000
Aubrey Powell / Jen Boorer, Corporate Finance
Tom Salvesen, Corporate Broking
Panmure Gordon (Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7886 2500
Freddy Crossley, Corporate Finance
James Stearns, Corporate Broking
MSL Group (US) Tel: +1 781 684 6557
Jon Siegal
Consilium Strategic Communications (UK) Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
Mary-Jane Elliott / Jessica Hodgson /
Lindsey Neville    

Summit Forward-looking Statements

Any statements in this press release about the Company’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including but not limited to, statements about the potential benefits of the CARB-X award, including whether the option segments will be exercised, the clinical and preclinical development of the Company’s product candidates, the therapeutic potential of the Company’s product candidates, the potential commercialisation of the Company’s product candidates, the sufficiency of the Company’s cash resources, the timing of initiation, completion and availability of data from clinical trials, the potential submission of applications for marketing approvals and other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "target," "would," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: the uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical trials, availability and timing of data from ongoing and future clinical trials and the results of such trials, whether preliminary results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of that trial or whether results of early clinical trials or preclinical studies will be indicative of the results of later clinical trials, expectations for regulatory approvals, laws and regulations affecting government contracts and funding awards, availability of funding sufficient for the Company’s foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements and other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of filings that the Company makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 31 January 2018. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. In addition, any forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any subsequent date. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements included in this press release.