The treatment is the focus of a presentation at the second SCI/RSC Symposium on Antimicrobial Drug Discovery taking place on November 12-13 in London.
The company is presenting pre-clinical trial data that shows SMT-571’s effectiveness against gonorrhoea, including cases of resistance to the current recommended treatment.
Current recommended treatment for the sexually transmitted disease is a combination of antibiotics ceftriaxone and azithromycin but Summit said resistance to these drugs is becoming a global issue since there are no approved alternatives.
“By targeting specific infections or pathogens, we believe we can develop the optimal drug for the patient and healthcare provider and improve clinical outcomes,” said Dr David Roblin, president of R&D at Summit.
“This antibiotic stewardship approach promotes the right drug for the right pathogen upfront and preserves broad-spectrum antibiotics for severe, systemic infections.”
The group said SMT-571 appears to have characteristics that are suitable for oral administration and for taking in conjunction with antibiotics for other sexually transmitted diseases.
Summit’s drug pipeline also includes ridinilazole, an antibiotic for C. difficile infection, and a discovery-stage programme for addressing ESKAPE pathogens ( Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp.), commonly referred to as superbugs that cause infections.
“As bacteria render existing classes of antibiotics less and less effective, infectious diseases are an ever-increasing threat to human life. To counter this threat, Summit Therapeutics is one of the few companies developing genuinely innovative, new mechanism antibiotics,” said Roblin.
He added: “Through our research, we have already found several new vulnerabilities in a range of bacteria, providing us with potential new antibiotic targets to which bacteria have not been previously exposed. Our goal is to use this information to continually develop new mechanism antibiotics to become new standards of care.”