Summit Therapeutics PLC

Summit Therapeutics flags potential of new antibiotic to treat drug-resistant gonorrhoea

“The problem of gonorrhoea resistance is very concerning, and if nothing is done, physicians could see more and more cases of untreatable disease”

There was a 26% increase in gonorrhoea cases reported in the UK last year

Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM) has highlighted the potential of its new class of antibiotic to treat drug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea at a major sexual health conference on Wednesday.

Identified by Summit’s Discuva drug discovery platform, SMT-571 is an oral antibiotic in development for the treatment of gonorrhoea, where pre-clinical studies have shown its potency across a wide range of strains, including those resistant to multiple drugs.

READ: Summit Therapeutics reduces first quarter losses

Summit research and development chief David Roblin gave a ‘poster presentation’ of recent pre-clinical research data at the STI & HIV World Congress in Vancouver, Canada.

“The problem of gonorrhoea resistance is very concerning, and if nothing is done, physicians could see more and more cases of untreatable disease,” Roblin said.

“As shown by the preclinical data presented, our gonorrhoea-targeted new class antibiotic, SMT-571, has the potential to overcome known resistance mechanisms across global isolates, including multi- and extensively-drug resistant strains.”

Roblin stressed the need for new gonorrhoea treatment options that would allow broad-spectrum antibiotics such as ceftriaxone to be reserved for other serious infections.

There was a 26% increase in gonorrhoea cases in the UK last year, with the previous year seeing a 19% increase in the USA.

The resistant rate to broad-spectrum antibiotic azithromycin is 4.4% and rising, with the emergence of resistance to ceftriaxone in these same strains, referred to as ‘super gonorrhoea’.

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