(WebFG News) - Biopharmaceutical company Summit Therapeutics highlighted its discovery of new mechanism antibiotic candidates for the treatment of gonorrhoea and said it will select a candidate to enter investigational new drug-enabling studies during the second half of the year.
Gonorrhoea, an area of high unmet medical need with only one treatment option recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control, has been identified as a priority pathogen by the World Health Organisation which cited the disease on a list of bacteria deemed to pose "the greatest risk to human health".
As a result, the "pressing need" for novel, effective antibiotics for gonorrhoea has driven Summit's discovery and development efforts around a series of new mechanism antibiotics as potential front-line treatments for the infection.
In the data presented by AIM-listed Summit in a late-breaking presentation at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Madrid, the series was shown to have a number of key characteristics that could drive their front-line use, including high potency against a range of gonorrhoea strains, high selectivity for gonorrhoea which minimizes collateral damage to the microbiome, a low potential for resistance development, and suitability for oral administration.
Dr David Roblin, Summit's president of research and development, said, "Our strategy to tackle difficult to treat bacterial infections, such as gonorrhoea, is clear: to develop new mechanism antibiotics that are genuinely innovative treatment options with the potential to replace existing standards of care."
"We are encouraged by the profile of the series of gonorrhoea antibiotic candidates developed using our proprietary genetics-based discovery platform, and we look forward to selecting a preclinical candidate in the second half of this year," Roblin added.
Elsewhere, Roblin, as well as Summit's chief executive officer Glyn Edwards and chief financial officer Erik Ostrowski, were awarded more than 5.5m ordinary shares
in the firm.
As of 1700 BST, shares had lost 3.41% to 198p.