Summit Corporation plc
("Summit" or "the Company")
SUMMIT AWARDED £2.2 MILLION FROM THE WELLCOME TRUST
- Funding to develop Summit's C. difficile infectious disease programme
Oxford, UK, 11 December 2009 - Summit Corporation plc (AIM: SUMM) today announces that it has been awarded £2.2 million from the Wellcome Trust to fund the development of the Company's infectious disease programme targeting C. difficile, a bacteria that is posing a significant and growing healthcare threat.
The award is made through the Wellcome Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative and provides over two years of funding to develop Summit's programme through until the end of preclinical development.
Following today's award, Summit's C. difficile programme becomes part of the Company's expanded Partnered Product Portfolio that now comprises eight drug programmes. This portfolio requires no further investment from Summit but has contractual, success based regulatory and sales milestones worth over $160m plus sales royalties. In addition, Summit retains significant territory rights in some of the programmes, including C. difficile, which ensures the Company can benefit from future commercial agreements signed in these programmes.
Steven Lee, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Summit said, "This £2.2 million award from The Wellcome Trust endorses Summit's scientific expertise in the area of infectious diseases. Our C. difficile programme targets a significant and growing healthcare threat and the two years of funding will act as a potential value driver for the business as the programme is developed into a valuable commercial opportunity."
About Clostridium difficile
The bacteria Clostridium difficile has emerged as a significant healthcare threat with approximately 50,000 cases per annum reported in the UK and an estimated 500,000 cases in the US. Mortality rates in the UK due to C. difficile infection are four times higher than infections due to MRSA. In addition hyper-virulent strains are now endemic in Europe and the US, with these strains being associated with more severe disease and higher mortality rates. In the US, the cost of care for C. difficile is estimated at $1.1 billion per annum. Therapy options remain limited with most common antibiotic treatments actually inducing C. difficile infection
Summit's early-stage programme has identified a novel class of small molecule compounds that have an attractive profile as a potential new therapy for the treatment of C. difficile. Early stage in vitro studies have shown the compounds inhibit the growth of C. difficile, but crucially, are highly selective for this bacterium. This is a highly desirable property for any new treatment as it will help the normal, healthy balance of gut flora to re-establish whilst selectively killing the C. difficile bacteria. In addition, the compounds display activity against the hyper-virulent strains
Using the Wellcome Trust funding, the next stage of development is to establish proof of concept in the gold-standard in vivo model and also undertake studies to establish the mode of action for this novel set of compounds.
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For more information, please contact:
Steven Lee, PhD
Richard Pye, PhD
Tel: +44 (0)1235 443939
Singer Capital markets
Tel: +44 (0)20 3205 7500
About Summit plc
Summit plc is a UK based drug discovery company with a major focus on developing new therapeutics from its iminosugar drug discovery platform.
Summit believes iminosugars are the key to gaining access to several disease mechanisms where classical drug candidates have had little success, and therefore offer a major opportunity for the discovery and development of new medicines.
Carbohydrates play critical roles in maintaining correct function of many normal processes in healthy individuals and provide a wealth of new targets for drug discovery. Iminosugars have the capability of accessing such targets and offer the potential of generating new medicines in a variety of major therapy areas. Summit is currently focussed on metabolic diseases, including diabetes, and anti-virals.
Commercially, Summit has a track record of signing programme agreements and currently has an out-licensed product portfolio comprising of seven drug programmes with BioMarin, Orient Pharma, Evolva and the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative. In the future these programmes may generate success based milestone payments and royalties for Summit.
The company listed on the alternative investment market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange in October 2004 - symbol: SUMM. Further information about the company is available at www.summitplc.com.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending over £600 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing www.wellcome.ac.uk.
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Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, by their nature, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions you therefore that you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements as statements of historical fact or as guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements and regional, national, global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory conditions.
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