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Summit Therapeutics in line to receive funding of up to US$64mln from US government

BARDA, part of the US Department of Health and Human Sciences, had previously agreed to provide Summit with up to US$62mln in funding to develop ridinilazole, but it has now upped this figure
antibiotic
Ridinilazole is Summit’s next-gen antibiotic which is being trialled in C. difficile patients

Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM) is in line to receive almost US$64mln from the US government to help fund the development of its ridinilazole antibiotic as a treatment for C. difficile (CDI).

The Biomedic Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Sciences, had already agreed to shell out US$44mln to cover the costs of taking ridinilazole through clinical trials.

READ: Summit well-placed in race to find new antibiotics

BARDA confirmed on Tuesday that it would provide another US$9.6mln in funding which will support patient enrolment and dosing in the ongoing phase 3 studies.

That takes the total amount committed by BARDA to US$53.6mln, although it might not be done there.

Summit had previously expected BARDA to provide up to US$62mln in funding, but officials said today that figure had been increased to US$63.7mln.

The plan is for the remaining US$10.1mln, or however much is committed, to be used to secure marketing approvals for ridnilazole further down the line.

“The funding from BARDA is a testament to the promise of ridinilazole to address an important public health need in CDI,” said Summit chief executive Glyn Edwards.

“Through our ongoing landmark Phase 3 clinical programme, we aim to show that our microbiome preserving antibiotic is superior in sustaining cures compared to the current standard of care and so has the potential to be the front-line treatment option for patients with CDI.”

He added: “We are pleased with the excellent working relationship that has been formed between us over the last two years and thank BARDA for its continuing support of ridinilazole.”

Why is the US government doing this?

While potential funding of almost US$64mln may seem a lot, the cost of not finding new treatments for CDI is even greater.

Summit estimates the cost of managing CDI is upwards of US$6bn every year in the US alone.

On top of that, the current antibiotics on the market aren’t always effective in getting rid of the disease for good, and CDI is often more dangerous – and more expensive to treat – when it does return.

Ridinilazole is currently going through phase 3 trials, but it has already shown promise in earlier studies.

In a phase 2 trial ridinilazole showed “statistical superiority” in treating the disease versus vancomycin, the current standard of care.

Summit shares were up 10% to 23.4p on Tuesday afternoon.

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