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Summit plunges 70 percent as muscle-wasting disorder drug fails

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Summit plunges 70 percent as muscle-wasting disorder drug fails

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(Reuters) - Britain's Summit Therapeutics Plc <SUMM.L> <SMMT.O> said on Wednesday that it would stop developing its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug, ezutromid, after it failed a mid-stage study, sending its shares plunging more than 70 percent.

DMD is a rare, genetic disorder that hampers muscle movement mainly in men, affecting one in every 3,500 to 5,000 males. A lack of dystrophin can cause life-threatening damage to the heart, and over time, death, often at a young age.

"While we believe utrophin modulation could still have a place in the treatment of DMD, it is clear that ezutromid is not providing a benefit for patients," Glyn Edwards, chief executive officer said in a statement.

Summit, which also plans to implement cost-cutting measure, said it will now focus its operations on the development of its pipeline of antibiotics.

The company's lead product candidate, ridinilazole, is expected to enter late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of C. difficile infection in first quarter of 2019, it said.

The company's U.S. shares were down 76 percent at $3, while its London-listed shares were down 70 pct at 195 pence.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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