Summit Therapeutics plc
('Summit' or the 'Company')


  • Dr David Roblin to combine Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer roles
  • Dr Anne Heatherington appointed Head of Clinical Development and Quantitative Sciences
  • Dr Dave Powell appointed Head of Research

Oxford, UK, 23 May 2017 - Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SMMT, AIM: SUMM), the drug discovery and development company advancing therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy ('DMD') and Clostridium difficile infection ('CDI'), today announces key appointments to strengthen its research and development team as the Company progresses its lead candidates towards late stage clinical trials and advances its earlier stage development pipeline.

Dr David Roblin, who recently became Chief Operating Officer and President of R&D, will expand his role to become Chief Medical Officer as he assumes full operational leadership for Summit's R&D capability. He will replace Dr Ralf Rosskamp, who has resigned. Summit has also appointed Anne Heatherington, PhD, as Head of Clinical Development and Quantitative Sciences and Dave Powell, PhD, as Head of Research.  

"This strengthening of our research and development team will help to ensure the organisation has the leadership, depth of knowledge and expertise needed to support ezutromid and ridinilazole as they enter crucial stages in their clinical evaluation and support progression of our earlier stage utrophin development pipeline," commented Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit. "David Roblin brings the experience gained through a successful 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, and we are delighted he is adding to his existing roles. Anne Heatherington brings a wealth of experience across all aspects of clinical development, while Dave Powell's skills in discovery research and leading collaborative research programmes between industry and academia will support our strategic alliance with the University of Oxford.

"Ralf Rosskamp has played an important role in supporting the development of our DMD and CDI clinical programmes, both of which have achieved significant clinical milestones during his time with us. On behalf of Summit, I would like to thank him for his dedication to this role, and I wish him every success in his future career."

Dr David Roblin added, "In the coming 12 months, Summit has the potential to achieve proof of concept with ezutromid in the treatment of DMD and plans to begin Phase 3 trials for ridinilazole in CDI, each step potentially bringing us closer to making a difference for patients and families living with these serious diseases. We're delighted to have further strengthened the team as we approach these important inflection points."

Dr Heatherington joined Summit from Pfizer and has already taken up her role in the Company's office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, while Dr Powell will join Summit in late June from GlaxoSmithKline ('GSK') and will be based at the Company's headquarters in Oxfordshire, UK.

Dr David Roblin MD, FRCP, FFPM, FMedSci
Dr David Roblin has had an extensive and highly successful career in the life sciences industry. Dr Roblin held senior leadership roles at Pfizer and Bayer where he was involved in research, development and commercialisation. At Pfizer, he was Head of Research, Site Director and CMO for Europe R&D and he and his units were responsible for the development of several important and successful medicines. At Bayer, he was Head of Therapy Area for anti-infectives where he was involved in the successful development of a number of antibiotics, including Avelox(TM) and Cipro(TM). In 2014, Dr Roblin was appointed COO and Director of Scientific Translation at the Francis Crick Institute in London where he led on establishing the operations of a new biomedical research institute at a new state-of-the-art research facility. Before entering the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Roblin practised medicine for five years. Dr Roblin has a degree in biochemistry from University College London and later qualified in medicine from St George's Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and was recently elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is an honorary Professor of Medicine at Swansea University and Professor of Translational Medicine at St George's. He is a Board Director of Destiny Pharma.

Anne Heatherington, PhD
Dr Anne Heatherington joins Summit from Pfizer where she was Vice President and Head of Quantitative Clinical Sciences in Cambridge, MA. Dr Heatherington qualified in pharmacy from Queens University of Belfast, spent a year in Queens Square, London as a pre-registration pharmacist and then earned a PhD (pharmacokinetics) from Manchester University, UK. Dr Heatherington was awarded a Senior Fellow position, developing PK-PD (pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic) models with collaborators funded by the US National Institutes of Health in the Center for Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle. In 1996, Dr Heatherington joined Amgen and during her eight years there, she supported multiple programmes including three international filings and led a group focused on therapeutic proteins. In 2004, she joined Clinical Pharmacology at Pfizer, where she assumed responsibility for a range of therapeutic areas supporting all phases of development. In 2008, Dr Heatherington was appointed Head of Clinical R&D at Sandwich, UK, where she oversaw for Pfizer the clinical development of a wide range of assets. In 2011, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts with Pfizer where she led a group of clinical pharmacologists and statisticians focussing on the application of quantitative principles to early stage development. Dr Heatherington currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT).

Dave Powell, PhD
Dr Dave Powell will join Summit from GSK where he is currently Director and Head of the Crick-GSK Biomedical LinkLabs, based at GSK's UK R&D hub at Stevenage, UK, and The Francis Crick Institute in London. He was awarded a BSc and MSc from the National University of Ireland Galway, before completing a PhD in biochemistry at Cardiff University. Starting at GSK in 1995, Dr Powell joined a team working on Lead Optimisation, Structure Activity Relationships and compound mechanism of action support. Moving to Philadelphia in 1997, he switched focus to study novel targets emerging from the collaboration with Human Genome Sciences, and he successfully led the team that identified and linked BACE with Alzheimer's disease in 1999. He then had successive management positions across discovery biology at GSK's R&S site in Harlow, UK, with a focus on assay development, high throughput screening design and implementation, and lead optimisation support. This included multiyear involvement with GSK's LpPLA2 programmes. He was appointed Director in Molecular Discovery Research in 2010, with subsequent department leadership positions at GSK's site in Stevenage, UK. Appointed to his most recent role in 2014, he has been leading a highly embedded collaboration with the Crick Institute, in addition to providing support to GSK's 'Discovery Partnerships with Academia' team which collaborates with academic groups in downstream drug discovery.

About Summit Therapeutics
Summit is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel medicines for indications for which there are no existing or only inadequate therapies. Summit is conducting clinical programs focused on the genetic disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the infectious disease C. difficile infection. Further information is available at and Summit can be followed on Twitter (@summitplc).

For more information, please contact:

Glyn Edwards / Richard Pye (UK office)
Erik Ostrowski / Michelle Avery (US office)


Tel: +44 (0)1235 443 951
  +1 617 225 4455
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP
(Nominated Adviser)
Liam Murray / Tony Rawlinson



Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880
N+1 Singer
Aubrey Powell / Lauren Kettle 



Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
(US media contact)
Karen Sharma

Tel: +1 781 235 3060

Consilium Strategic Communications
(Financial public relations, UK)
Mary-Jane Elliott / Sue Stuart /
Jessica Hodgson / Lindsey Neville

Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700

Forward-looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about Summit's future expectations, plans and prospects, including but not limited to, statements about the clinical and preclinical development of Summit's product candidates, the therapeutic potential of Summit's product candidates, and the timing of initiation, completion and availability of data from clinical trials, and other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "target," "would," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: the uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical trials, availability and timing of data from on-going and future clinical trials and the results of such trials, whether preliminary results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of that trial or whether results of early clinical trials or preclinical studies will be indicative of the results of later clinical trials, expectations for regulatory approvals, availability of funding sufficient for Summit's foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements and other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of filings that Summit makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Summit's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2017. Accordingly readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. In addition, any forward-looking statements included in this press release represent Summit's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing Summit's views as of any subsequent date. Summit specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements included in this press release.