Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM, NASDAQ:SMMT) has unveiled a US$50mln funding deal with biotech billionaire Bob Duggan that will get the company’s next-generation antibiotic through phase III clinical trials.
It will also give Duggan, who is buying 166mln newly minted shares for 22.1p each, a controlling 72.8% stake in the business. He already owns 49% of Summit having invested US$25mln just under a year ago.
Allied to the cash injection is a board restructuring, while the company’s AIM quote will go, though Summit’s American Depositary Shares will remain listed on the US growth and tech market, NASDAQ.
Once the funding is complete, Duggan, Manmeet Soni, Dr Elaine Stracker and Dr Ventzislav Stefanov will join the drug developer as independent directors, replacing Frank Armstrong, Leopoldo Zambeletti and David Wurzer.
Chief executive Glyn Edwards is adding the role of chairman to his responsibilities as chief executive.
Summit is the developer of ridinilazole, a potential new treatment for C. difficile or C. diff, a bacteria that can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea.
It most commonly affects people who have recently been treated with antibiotics and it can spread easily to others.
The firm’s Ri-CoDIFy phase III clinical trial assessment, which began in February, has pitted the new drug against vancomycin, the current standard of care.
“Microbiome-friendly treatments I believe are the future,” said Duggan.
“I am delighted to be investing in, and working with, the Summit team with the goal of developing ridinilazole as the new front-line treatment option for C.difficile infection that is also kind to the microbiome of patients.
“I see a bright future for Summit as a public company listed on NASDAQ, and I look forward to joining the board and working to deliver ridinilazole to patients.”