Dr Frank Armstrong has been named as the non-executive chairman of drug development firm Summit (LON:SUMM).
Experienced pharmaceutical executive Armstrong has extensive industry experience, including progressing candidates through clinical trials, and his appointment reflects the clinical development stage of its muscular dystrophy and C.difficile programmes.
His appointment was announced after the AGM, in which the firm outlined its refocus on these two programmes, which is aimed at creating two independent high-value franchises.
Each programme, explained chief executive Glyn Edwards, had made significant progress and each drug ha potential for positive impact on these two "devastating diseases".
SMT C1100 for muscular dystrophy successfully completed a phase 1 clinical trial and the firm is now engaging with the EU and US regulatory authorities as we finalise plans for the first ever patient clinical trial.
"We expect that the first patient clinical trial will start in H2 2013 with a Phase 2 activity trial to follow in 2014," Edwards told shareholders.
Meanwhile in April this year, Edwards described as “fantastic” the results from early clinical trials of its antibiotic for the hospital super-bug C.difficile.
The phase I study on 56 healthy patients revealed SMT 19969 is both safe and well tolerated in the doses that would be required to treat patients.
As important, researchers have found it is uniquely able to target a specific bacterium; current drugs treat a broad range of bacteria, which has created wholesale resistance to traditional remedies.
"The development of SMT 19969 continues to receive considerable support from the Wellcome Trust through a £4 million Translational Award that will substantially support it through to completion of a Phase 2 proof of concept trial. It is expected that the Phase 2 trial will commence in the first half 2014," the chief executive told the meeting.
Summit also announced that Dr Barry Price would be taking up a non-executive director role at the firm.