Shares in Summit Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: SMMT, LON: SUMM) went higher as it revealed its new antibiotic for hospital superbug C.Diff could treat the disease and help stop it reoccurring.
The further positive data comes from the CoDIFy Phase 2 clinical trial and showed that ridinilazole can preserve the micobiome in the gut as it treats the condition, while the standard of care medicine - vancomycin - causes "substantial and long-lasting damage" on the microbiome, or the eco-system of the gut.
Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, is caused after damage to the microbiome but patients can get a double whammy, as using broad spectrum antibiotics can further damage the microbiome.
Glyn Edwards, chief executive of Summit, told investors: "These new results from the Phase 2 trial show ridinilazole preserves the patients' microbiome while simultaneously working to eradicate the C. difficile bacteria.
"The clinical data strongly suggest that ridinilazole treatment may be better able to protect against recurrent disease than the current standard of care.
"We believe this approach offers a clear advantage over conventional broad spectrum antibiotics currently used to treat CDI that cause substantial damage to the gut microbiome or approaches that aim to artificially re-establish a damaged gut microbiome following antibiotic treatment."
Summit reckons ridinilazole could become a single therapeutic approach capable of both treating the initial infection and reducing the high rates of recurrent disease.
Today's findings come after recently reported results from the Phase 2 CoDIFy trial that showed ridinilazole to be statistically superior to vancomycin in sustained clinical response.
C. diff is a serious threat in hospitals and care homes and there are between 450,000 and 700,000 cases in the US annually.
It is caused by an infection of the colon by the bacterium C. difficile, which produces toxins that causes inflammation, severe diarrhoea and in the most serious cases can be fatal.
Biopharma Summit, listed in London and New York, as well as C-diff, is focused on developing a treament for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Shares advanced in London 4.55% to 103.5p.