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Summit Therapeutics is cashed-up and looking forward to exciting year

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:33
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Drugs developer Summit Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:SMMT, LON:SUMM) was sitting on a tidy cash pile of £28.1mln at the end of its financial year.

The cash leaves the rare diseases specialist well-placed to make further progress, as it looks forward to the continuation of its Phase 2 proof of concept trial for its lead utrophin modulator, ezutromid, and preparation work on its ridinilazole antibiotic, which the company hopes will be ready to enter Phase 3 clinical trials in the first half of 2018.

The licensing deal signed with Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) was a highlight of last year, the company said as it issued results for the year to the end of January 2017.

The two companies will collaborate on Summit’s potentially breakthrough treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

As part of the deal, Sarepta paid Summit £32.8mln in advance, £2.3mln has been recognised as revenue for the year just ended.

That formed the bulk of the £2.9mln of revenue Summit reported for the year, up from £2.3mln the year before.

Research and development costs of £23.6mln, up from £19.0mln the previous year, and admin costs of £10.4mln (2015/6: £8.3mln) meant the drug discoverer posted a pre-tax loss of £32.4mln, compared to a loss the year before of £25.7mln.

With its flagship drugs still in development, however, the results statement was not really about the numbers; it was about the progress it made with its DMD and C. difficile (CDI) treatments.

“Our Phase 2 proof of concept trial, PhaseOut DMD, is well underway with enrolment expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017. We now look forward to providing the full analysis of 24-week biopsies from the approximately 20 patients dosed with the F3 or F6 formulation of ezutromid, plus 24-week MRI and functional measures from all patients in the trial, in the first quarter of 2018,” said Glyn Edwards, chief executive officer of Summit.

“This approach is in lieu of reporting interim analysis from a smaller group in 2017, and it is expected to provide a more complete picture of the potential benefits of ezutromid at this time point on utrophin expression, muscle health and muscle function,” he added.

Read Summit rises as it presses on with extension of PhaseOut DMD trial

“In CDI, our Phase 2 clinical data supports the potential front-line use of ridinilazole to treat the initial infection and provide patients with a sustained clinical response. This sustained clinical response is the focus of our planned Phase 3 programme that is designed, with input from the FDA and EMA, to evaluate superiority of ridinilazole over the current standard of care antibiotic vancomycin,” Edwards said.

“With the Phase 3 trials planned to start in the first half of 2018, we look forward to an exciting and important time ahead as we seek to bring these two potentially important treatment options one step closer to patients,” he concluded.

Shares in Summit are up 45% year-to-date but fell 0.7%, pretty much in line with the wider market, to 206p on the results.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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