Oxford, UK, 13 February 2013 – Summit (AIM: SUMM), a drug discovery and development company advancing therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (‘DMD’) and C. difficile infections, announces the formation of an Advisory Board (‘the Board’) to support the scientific and clinical development of its utrophin modulator programme for the treatment of the fatal genetic disease DMD. The Board brings together six world-renowned scientists and clinicians with expertise in the field of neuromuscular diseases, and particularly DMD.
“We are absolutely delighted to have brought together these eminent thought leaders in neuromuscular diseases to form a world-class Advisory Board that will support our DMD programme,” commented Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit. “Their expertise brings a deep insight into the disease and will provide invaluable input into future patient clinical trials to support the progression of our utrophin modulation programme, including our lead candidate SMT C1100.”
“Summit’s utrophin modulation program is a very promising approach that offers the opportunity to treat all the genetic forms of DMD,” added Dr Kenneth Fischbeck, NIH Distinguished Investigator and member of the Advisory Board. “I look forward to working with this outstanding group of clinicians and scientists, and contributing to the progress of Summit’s DMD program as we explore the potential of utrophin modulation as an effective treatment for this disease.”
The members of Summit’s DMD Advisory Board are:
- Kate Bushby, MD, Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics at Newcastle University, Deputy Director of MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at London and Newcastle. Professor Bushby, a clinical academic at one of the leading international neuromuscular centres, is involved in an extensive programme of research in neuromuscular diseases from basic molecular pathology to clinical studies. Professor Bushby is one of the founding coordinators of the TREAT-NMD network and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committees of the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (‘AFM’), Action Duchenne and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
- Kay E Davies, MA, DPhil, DBE, FMedSci, FRS, Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy, Director MRC Functional Genomics Unit, and Associate Head of the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. Professor Davies has a long-standing research interest in neuromuscular diseases and is a pioneer of utrophin modulation as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of DMD. Professor Davies is Chair of Action Duchenne’s Scientific Advisory Board, a member of the Science Committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.
- Kenneth H Fischbeck, MD, NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Neurogenetics Branch at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (‘NINDS’). Dr Fischbeck’s research focuses on identifying the causes and mechanisms of hereditary neurological and neuromuscular diseases with a particular interest in muscular dystrophy. Dr Fischbeck serves on advisory boards for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (‘AFM’).
- Louis M Kunkel, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Program in Genomics at Boston Children’s Hospital. Professor Kunkel is an internationally recognised geneticist whose research identified the gene and encoded protein dystrophin that is mutated in boys with DMD. Professor Kunkel has a longstanding interest in developing therapies for the muscular dystrophies. Professor Kunkel is Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
- Francesco Muntoni, MD, PhD, Chair of Paediatric Neurology at the Institute of Child Health, London, and Director of the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at University College London. Professor Muntoni is a paediatric neurologist at the UK’s largest paediatric neuromuscular centre of excellence and has a long standing interest in the clinical and molecular aspects of neuromuscular diseases including DMD. Professor Muntoni is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Italian Telethon and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Myotubular Trust.
- H Lee Sweeney, PhD, William Maul Massey Professor, Chairman of Physiology, and Director of the Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr Sweeney is a physiologist whose research interests evaluate the possible causes and treatments of muscle diseases, with a particular focus on DMD. Dr Sweeney is the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
DMD is caused by genetic mutations that prevent patients from making the structural protein dystrophin, which leads to progressive muscle wasting and is ultimately fatal. Summit is pioneering utrophin modulation to stimulate production of utrophin, a functionally similar protein to dystrophin that is expressed in foetal and regenerating muscle, and which has the potential to restore and maintain healthy muscle function. This disease modifying approach would benefit for all DMD patients, regardless of the underlying genetic fault causing their illness. SMT C1100 is the Company’s leading utrophin modulator drug and completed a Phase 1 clinical trial in late 2012.
Summit is an Oxford, UK based drugdiscovery and development Company targeting high-value areas of unmet medical need including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and C. difficile infection. Summit is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol SUMM. Further information is available at www.summitplc.com.
For more information, please contact:
Glyn Edwards / Richard Pye
Tel: +44 (0)1235 443 951
Nomura Code Securities
(Nominated Adviser and Joint broker)
Chris Collins / Jonathan Senior / Giles Balleny
Tel: +44 (0)20 7776 1200
Claire Louise Noyce / Deepak Reddy
Tel: +44 (0)207 947 4350
(Financial public relations, UK)
Tel: +44 (0)7879 458 364
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
(US media contact)
Tel: +1 781-235-3060
Forward Looking Statements
This document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can beidentified by words such as "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "seeks", "believes", "estimates", "expects" and similar references to future periods, or by the inclusion of forecasts or projections. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, by their nature, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions you therefore that you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements as statements of historical fact or as guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements and regional, national, global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory conditions.