Pharma Capital

Summit Therapeutics DMD trial underway; mulls funding options for c.diff trial

The company is developing two drugs - one for a rare muscle wasting disease, the other a next-generation antibiotic
young boy on boardwalk
There is no effective treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects boys

Summit Therapeutics PLC’s (LON:SUMM, NASDAQ:SMMT) interim results statement charted a period of significant progress for its two main drug candidates.

It is developing Ezutromid for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare muscle wasting disease that affects boys, and Ridinilazole, a next-generation antibiotic.

The former has completed enrolment for its PhaseOut phase II clinical trial, which triggered a £17.2mln milestone payment from partner Sarepta, the US group.

Study underway 

The study recruited 40 patients in the US and UK and will take 48 weeks to complete.

Researchers will assess how Ezutromid affects muscle structure, health and function.

Data from the half-way stage is expected in the first quarter of next year with the trial set to close in the third quarter.

Funding options

In the update, Summit said it was “exploring various funding options” for Ridinilazole, which is thought to be effective against multiple different strains of the difficult-to-treat infection c.difficile (CDI).

It may seek a partnership or “non-dilutive funding” such as a government grant or philanthropic contribution ahead of phase III trials in the first half of next year.

It is also believed to be superior to existing medications such as vancomycin and metronidazole.

“We believe ridinilazole can become a new, urgently needed frontline therapy for this serious infectious disease,” said chief executive Glyn Edwards.

Sarepta boost

The company’s figures showed it was sitting on £28.1mln at the end July following receipt of the Sarepta payment.

As well as boosting the bank balance, the income meant Summit was able to post a profit of £6.2mln for the six months to July 31, which compared with an £11.9mln loss for the same period last year.

Research and development expenses were £11.6mln.

Edwards was upbeat on the prospects for Summit.

"We look forward to an exciting and important period ahead as we continue advancing these two assets that have the potential to improve the quality of life of patients and families living with DMD and CDI," he said.

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