Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM, NASDAQ:SMMT) said it will kick off a Phase I clinical trial of a new antibiotic for gonorrhoea in the second half of next year.
It follows the nomination of SMT-571 as its lead candidate to tackle the sexually transmitted infection.
Identified using the company’s Discuva Platform, it is designed to exploit the N. gonorrhoeae target.
The study itself will be supported by the US$4.5mln it received from CARB-X, a US programme designed to accelerate the development of new antibiotics.
The need for new treatments for gonorrhoea was laid bare last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that cases of the STI had increased by 67% between 2013 and 2017.
Worrying also was the rise in drug-resistant strains of the infection.
“We believe our new science and new way of thinking together enable our goal to develop the right drug for the right pathogen and create opportunities for success,” said Dr David Roblin, Summit’s head of R&D of Summit.
“SMT-571 is being developed specifically for gonorrhoea, meaning that it is designed to have both a targeted spectrum of activity and be tailored to meet the needs of patients with gonorrhoea.”