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CARB-X funds Summit Therapeutics to support development of a new class of antibiotics to treat Gonorrhoea Superbug

CARB-X funds Summit Therapeutics to support development of a new class of antibiotics to treat Gonorrhoea Superbug

(BOSTON, MA) – July 10, 2018 – CARB-X is awarding Summit Therapeutics plc of Oxford, UK, $2 million in non-dilutive funding, with the possibility of up to $2.5 million more based on achievement of certain project milestones, to support the development of a new class of antibiotic compounds addressing a novel target to treat gonorrhoea.

“Drug-resistant gonorrhoea is an urgent and growing public health problem, affecting the health and quality of life of people around the world,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X. “The world urgently needs new antibiotics, like those that Summit is developing, and other life-saving products to protect us from drug-resistant bacteria. The projects in the Powered by CARB-X portfolio are in the early stages of development, but if successful, they offer tremendous potential in the fight against superbugs.”

“This CARB-X collaboration and funding is important to us as we aim to pioneer a new era in antibiotic innovation and allows us to accelerate the development of our first series of new mechanism of action gonorrhoea compounds,” said Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit. “The award is a testament to the promise of our gonorrhoea programme, and the discovery capability of our proprietary genetics-based platform.”

Summit, through its wholly own subsidiary Discuva, has identified a series of novel class/novel target compounds that have shown high potency against a range of Neisseria gonorrhoea strains, including those that were multi-drug resistant. This lead series was identified using Summit’s Discuva platform that combines transposon technology and bioinformatics to create and screen compounds against proprietary pathogen libraries. The Discuva platform is designed to identify new bacterial targets, discover and develop new mechanism antibiotics and assess resistance liabilities to optimize compounds for advancing into clinical development. The CARB-X award will support the selection of a preclinical candidate from the lead series, and if certain milestones are met, could support the development of the selected gonorrhoea candidate through the end of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year, there are 78 million new cases of gonorrhoea, and there is evidence that multi-drug resistant strains of the sexually transmitted disease are on the rise around the world. When left untreated, gonorrhoea infections can result in serious complications and health problems for women, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage, and can cause infertility in both men and women. The disease can also spread from mother to baby during childbirth, causing blindness in the baby. Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to each class of antibiotic recommended for treatment and there are now few antibiotics that can effectively cure the infection. The WHO ranks as “High” the priority of R&D investment into the search for antibiotics which are effective against Neisseria gonorrhoea.

New antibiotics, diagnostics and other products are needed urgently to treat bacteria that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. According to the WHO, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. In the UK alone, an estimated 5,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Expanding portfolio
CARB-X currently supports 34 R&D projects. The Summit project brings to 10 the number of new classes of antibiotics in the portfolio. CARB-X, which stands for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, funds projects in seven countries and is working to expand its pipeline with great science from around the world.

Since it was established in 2016, CARB-X has announced awards totaling $89.4 million, plus an additional $120.7 million if project milestones are met, to accelerate the development of antibiotics and other products. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves.

Partnership to drive antibacterial innovation
CARB-X is investing more than $500 million in antibacterial R&D from 2016-2021. The goal is to support projects through the early phases of development through Phase 1, so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients. The scope of CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO in 2017 – with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.

CARB-X is a non-profit partnership launched by the US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

CARB-X support for the Summit project is possible thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust and BARDA.

This news release is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by an award from Wellcome Trust. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Wellcome Trust, or other CARB-X funders.

Media Contacts:

CARB-X:
Jennifer Robinson carbxpr@bu.edu
M: +1.514.914.8974

Summit Therapeutics:
Richard Pye Richard.Pye@summitplc.com
M: +44 (0)1235 443951

Michelle Avery, PhD Michelle.Avery@summitplc.com
O: +1 617.225.4455
M:+1 518.505.4657

About CARB-X
CARB-X is a non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is investing more than $500 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices. In its first two years, CARB-X has built the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is funded by US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, the UK Government’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (UK GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X is based at Boston University in the Faculty of Law. Other partners include RTI International, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MassBio, and the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI).  https://carb-x.org/. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.

About Summit Therapeutics

Summit Therapeutics is a leader in antibiotic innovation. Our new mechanism antibiotics are designed to become the new standards of care for the benefit of patients, and create value for payors and healthcare providers. We are currently developing new mechanism antibiotics for C. difficile infection and gonorrhoea, and are using our proprietary Discuva Platform to expand our pipeline. For more information, visit  www.summitplc.com and follow us on Twitter @summitplc.

About BARDA and NIAID
The US Department of Health and Human Services works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Within HHS, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. BARDA provides a comprehensive, integrated, portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. These threats include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. NIH is the primary US federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.

About Wellcome Trust
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, no. 2711000 (whose registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK)

About the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the UK Government department which is responsible for helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer.

The partnership with CARB-X is part of DHSC’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF was established to provide seed funding for innovative research and development, specifically in neglected and underinvested areas, in the field of AMR. GAMRIF is a £50m UK Aid investment, which means all projects funded must support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Fund takes a ‘One Health’ approach, seeking to invest in potential solutions to reduce the threat of AMR in humans, animals, fish and the environment. The Fund seeks to leverage additional global funding through interaction with international government bodies, public-private partnerships, product development partnerships, global funding mechanisms and global fora.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. For further information, please visit www.bu.edu, or contact Suzanne Otte at otte@bu.edu.

About the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community. Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, http://www.broadinstitute.org. In support of CARB-X, the Broad Institute created the Collaborative Hub for Early Antibiotic Discovery (CHEAD), which serves an interdisciplinary center that partners with academic investigators engaged in antibiotic development and/or resistance research to accelerate their early-stage, small molecule therapeutics toward Investigational New Drug (IND) application.

About MassBio
MassBio is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 that represents and provides services and support for the world’s leading life sciences supercluster. MassBio is committed to advancing Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Representing 1000+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, disease foundations and other organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, MassBio leverages its unparalleled network of innovative companies and industry thought leaders to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services. Learn more at MassBio.

About the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI)
The mission of the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) is to maintain California’s leadership in life sciences innovation through support of entrepreneurship, education and career development. Located in the birthplace of biotechnology, CLSI strives to ensure that the economic and intellectual power of the region’s life sciences industry and its employees remains strong. By maintaining its focus on entrepreneurship, education and career development programs, CLSI supports the foundations of innovation that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem. As a non-profit 501(c)(3), CLSI’s objectives are met through collaborations, partnerships, and the generosity of individuals, sponsors and foundations. CLSI is a member of the CARB-X consortium, serving as an accelerator. Learn more at http://califesciencesinstitute.org.

About RTI International
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach – one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.