Summit’s Infectious Diseases Technology Platform Yields Novel Antibiotics with Potential in Global Fight Against Gonorrhoea

Summit Therapeutics plc 
(“Summit” or the “Company”)

Summit’s Infectious Diseases Technology Platform Yields Novel Antibiotics with Potential in Global Fight Against Gonorrhoea

Oxford, UK, and Cambridge, MA, US, 13 March 2018 – Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SMMT, AIM: SUMM) announces the discovery of a series of antibiotic compounds that kill gonorrhoea bacteria via new mechanisms of action. There is a pressing need for novel antibiotics targeting gonorrhoea due to increasing antibiotic resistance and a lack of new treatments. Gonorrhoea has been identified as one of three urgent threats by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (‘CDC’), and a high priority pathogen by the World Health Organisation (‘WHO’).

“Without truly novel mechanism antibacterial drugs we cannot address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. Nowhere is this need more obvious than in gonorrhoea, where increasing resistance and a lack of innovation means we are now nearing an era of untreatable disease,” said Dr David Roblin, President of R&D of Summit. “Tackling this disease therefore fits squarely within Summit’s strategic vision: the development of new mechanism therapies designed to treat specific diseases. This approach aims to demonstrate clear advantages over existing standards of care combined with a compelling value proposition for patients, payors and healthcare providers.”

In early testing, the new series of antibiotic compounds has been shown to have high potency against strains of gonorrhoea with no development of resistance to date. The series of antibiotic compounds was identified using Summit’s recently acquired technology platform. Summit intends to select a candidate from the gonorrhoea programme for entering into IND enabling studies in the second half of 2018. The Company believes the identified series of antibiotic compounds has the potential to produce a new front-line therapy for gonorrhoea.

Dr Roblin added, “We believe that these data demonstrate the power of our recently acquired technology platform to design and generate a pipeline of new mechanism antibiotics. This combines perfectly with our development capabilities and expertise already built in advancing ridinilazole, our late-stage precision antibiotic for C. difficile infection.”

About Gonorrhoea
It is estimated by the WHO that there are approximately 106 million new cases of gonorrhoea globally per year. The US CDC reported in 2013 that 30% of new cases are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics currently used to treat gonorrhoea. Further the organism responsible for this infectious disease, Neisseria gonorrhoea, has consistently developed resistance to each class of antibiotics recommended for treatment. In 2006, the CDC recommended five treatment options. There is now only one treatment recommended by the CDC, a combination of two antibiotics. There are currently no other approved antibiotics that can be effectively deployed to target the disease.

About Summit’s Technology Platform
The Summit infectious diseases technology platform combines transposon technology and bioinformatics to create and screen compounds against proprietary pathogen libraries. It can be used to identify new bacterial targets, elucidate mechanisms of action and help generate potential antibiotic candidates that are less susceptible to resistance development. The platform was obtained as part of the acquisition of Discuva Limited in December 2017.

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


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