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The Abingdon based drug discovery and development company Summit PLC has been awarded £2.4M from the UK Biocatalyst fund to develop its utrophin modulator drug SMT C1100 for the treatment Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  This is a direct development from pioneering research into DMD led by Oxford’s Prof Kay Davies. DMD is a debilitating muscle wasting disease, caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, which affects around one boy in every 3,500 in the UK. In 1989, Kay Davies made a breakthrough when her team discovered the functionally related gene utrophin. Kay’s work led to the hypothesis that utrophin up-regulation could potentially provide a treatment for DMD. The grant will support the future development of SMT C1100 by contributing towards the Phase 1b and Phase 2 clinical trials in DMD patients, long-term toxicology studies and the development of novel biomarkers for use in the Phase 2 clinical trial.  The aim of this clinical programme is to establish the safety and efficacy of SMT C1100 and validate utrophin modulation as a viable therapy with the potential to treat all DMD patients. On the 7th August the company was issued a US patent for the use of SMT C1100 in treating DMD.

For more information visit the Summit website