You are here

Summit Highlights Importance of Innovation in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance During Antibiotics Awareness Week

Summit Therapeutics plc 
(‘Summit’ or the ’Company’)

Summit Highlights Importance of Innovation in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance During Antibiotics Awareness Week

  • Preclinical Data on New Mechanism Antibiotic SMT-571 for the Treatment of Gonorrhoea are the Focus of an Oral Presentation at the SCI/RSC Symposium on Antimicrobial Drug Discovery

Oxford, UK, and Cambridge, MA, US, 12 November 2018 – Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SMMT, AIM: SUMM), a leader in new mechanism antibiotic innovation, marks the start of Antibiotics Awareness Week today by highlighting the importance of innovation in the discovery and development of new antibiotics.

“As bacteria render existing classes of antibiotics less and less effective, infectious diseases are an ever-increasing threat to human life. To counter this threat, Summit Therapeutics is one of the few companies developing genuinely innovative, new mechanism antibiotics,” said Dr David Roblin, President of R&D of Summit. “We believe our Discuva Platform can support the discovery of multiple new mechanism antibiotics against the most serious bacterial threats. Through our research, we have already found several new vulnerabilities in a range of bacteria, providing us with potential new antibiotic targets to which bacteria have not been previously exposed. Our goal is to use this information to continually develop new mechanism antibiotics to become new standards of care.”

Within Summit’s current pipeline of new mechanism antibiotics is SMT-571, which is the focus of an oral presentation at the 2nd SCI/RSC Symposium on Antimicrobial Drug Discovery taking place 12-13 November in London, UK. SMT-571 is a selective antibiotic being developed specifically for the treatment of gonorrhoea. Current treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea recommend combination therapy of two broad-spectrum antibiotics, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. Resistance to azithromycin and reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone are becoming global issues in the treatment of gonorrhoea and there are no approved gonorrhoea treatments to replace these antibiotics. In addition, ceftriaxone’s over-use for gonorrhoea could create further health burdens by promoting resistance of other life-threatening bacteria, for which ceftriaxone is currently an antibiotic of choice, such as in the treatment of meningitis.

If approved, Summit believes SMT-571 has the potential to be used as a front-line treatment, which could help to promote antibiotic stewardship by allowing broad-spectrum antibiotics to be reserved for more appropriate infections. Data being presented at the SCI/RSC Symposium highlight SMT-571’s new mechanism of action, which has resulted in potency against multiple different clinical gonorrhoea isolates in preclinical studies, including multi-drug resistant strains and those showing reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone. In addition, SMT-571 appears to have characteristics which are suitable for oral administration and co-administration with antibiotics for other sexually transmitted diseases. The development of SMT-571 is supported, in part, by an award from CARB-X through the end of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Added Dr Roblin, “By targeting specific infections or pathogens, we believe we can develop the optimal drug for the patient and healthcare provider and improve clinical outcomes. This antibiotic stewardship approach promotes the right drug for the right pathogen upfront and preserves broad-spectrum antibiotics for severe, systemic infections.”

Other new mechanism antibiotic programmes in Summit’s pipeline include ridinilazole, a Phase 3-ready precision antibiotic for C. difficile infection, and a discovery-stage ESKAPE program. The bacteria addressed by Summit’s programmes are all on priority lists from the World Health Organization (‘WHO’) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (‘CDC’) because of the urgent need for new antibiotics against them.

Antibiotics Awareness Week is a global event recognised worldwide by the WHO, in the US by the CDC, in Europe by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, in Canada by the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases and by Australia by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality Health Care. The initiative seeks to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and steps everyone can take to help avoid further spread of antibiotic resistance.

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.

Research reported in this press release is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by an award from Wellcome Trust, as administrated by CARB-X. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, other funders, or CARB-X.


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 / Sue Stuart / 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.


Monday, November 12, 2018 - 07:00