Summit Unveils Second Novel Target for Gonorrhoea at ASM Microbe 2018

  • Highlights the Power of the Discuva Platform to Identify Novel Antibiotic Targets

OXFORD, United Kingdom and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ:SMMT) (AIM:SUMM) announces the discovery of a second novel target to kill the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The new target, identified using Summit’s Discuva Platform, is distinct from that of existing antibiotics and also from Summit’s recently announced lead series of new mechanism antibiotics for gonorrhoea.

Summit also reports the discovery of a promising new series of compounds against this second target. This series of compounds have the characteristics the Company believes are required for a treatment of gonorrhoea by combining high potency with selective targeting of N. gonorrhoeae, including resistant strains.

This research was showcased as part of Summit’s presentations at the ASM Microbe 2018 congress in Atlanta, US. Summit also reported preclinical data at this congress on its lead gonorrhoea series from which it expects to nominate a candidate to advance into IND enabling studies during the second half of 2018.

“Gonorrhoea poses an urgent threat as the world approaches an era of untreatable disease due to increasing resistance against the last recommended treatment option,” commented Dr David Roblin, Summit’s President of Research and Development. “Having two novel approaches with the potential to combat gonorrhoea means Summit has an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the fight against this significant worldwide health threat.”

Both series of compounds were identified with Summit’s Discuva Platform, a proprietary genetics-based technology for the discovery and development of new antibiotics against multiple pathogens associated with antibiotic resistance.

“We believe our Discuva Platform has the potential to radically change antibiotic drug discovery and development,” added Dr Roblin. “Gonorrhoea is the first pathogen we are targeting with our platform to bring forward new mechanism antibiotics. Exploiting new bacterial targets will be critical to ensure we are developing potential new standards of care treatments that are capable of achieving commercial success.”

Copies of all the presentations given at ASM Microbe 2018 are available in the publications section of the Company’s website,

About Gonorrhoea
It is estimated by the World Health Organization (‘WHO’) that there are approximately 78 million new cases of gonorrhoea globally per year.  Neisseria gonorrhoeae has consistently developed resistance to each class of antibiotics recommended for treatment and there is now only one treatment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, a combination of two antibiotics which is approaching the point at which its use should be stopped. There are currently no other recommended antibiotics that can be effectively deployed to target the disease. The WHO ranks as “High” the priority of R&D investment into the search for antibiotics which are effective against N. gonorrhoeae.

About Summit Therapeutics
Summit is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel medicines for indications in neuromuscular and infectious diseases for which there are no existing or only inadequate therapies. Summit is currently conducting clinical programmes focused on the neuromuscular disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the infectious disease C. difficile infection. Further information is available at and Summit can be followed on Twitter (@summitplc).


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    
Panmure Gordon (Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7886 2500
Freddy Crossley, Corporate Finance    
MacDougall Biomedical Communications (US) Tel: +1 781 235 3060
Karen Sharma
Consilium Strategic Communications (UK) Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
Mary-Jane Elliott / Jessica Hodgson /
Lindsey Neville / Philippa Gardner    

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 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, 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.