9 July 2012 - London, UK - London, UK - Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP.L), the biotechnology company focused on developing novel treatments for chronic respiratory diseases, today announces that it has commenced a new trial with its lead drug candidate, the dual PDE 3 and 4 inhibitor, RPL554.
This clinical trial is taking place at the Medicines Evaluation Unit (MEU) in Manchester, UK and is designed to test the anti-inflammatory properties of RPL554 in healthy subjects with respect to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”). The subjects will be treated once daily for 6 consecutive days with inhaled RPL554 before being challenged on the last day by an irritant agent that provokes an inflammatory response in their airways. The ability of RPL554 to reduce the amount of inflammation in the airways will be measured. This particular test resembles certain aspects of the airway inflammation in patients with COPD and is a common step in the development of new medicines for this disease. The study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that will enroll 24 subjects and is expected to finish around year-end.
Dr Jan-Anders Karlsson, CEO of Verona Pharma said: “RPL554 has the potential to become a new targeted therapy for patients with severe forms of respiratory disease. This trial at MEU is important as it is the first clinical trial designed to evaluate specifically the anti-inflammatory properties of RPL554 in human subjects. RPL554 shows unique dual bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties in pre-clinical models, and the company has already demonstrated that RPL554 is a bronchodilator in patients with COPD and asthma. Today there is no therapy that combines both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties in one compound available to patients with respiratory diseases.”
About Verona Pharma plc
Verona Pharma plc is developing first-in-class drugs to treat respiratory disease, such as COPD, asthma and chronic severe cough. The Company has three drug programmes, two of which are in Phase II. The lead programme, RPL554, is an innovative dual phosphodiesterease (PDE) 3 and 4 inhibitor with both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties. VRP700 is an innovative product for suppressing chronic severe chough in patients with underlying lung disease. In its third programme, Verona Pharma is investigating novel anti-inflammatory molecules, called NAIPs, for a wide range of respiratory and inflammatory diseases. Verona Pharma is based in London, U.K. For more information, visit: www.veronapharma.com
About chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD, commonly known as smokers’ disease, is predominantly characterized by chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a progressive degenerative lung disease that results in reductions in lung airflow, making it difficult to breathe. COPD is estimated to affect 210 million people worldwide and is projected to be the third leading cause of death by 2020. The economic burden of COPD in the UK is estimated to be £1.2 billion in health costs and lost productivity.
About The Medicines Evaluation Unit (MEU)
The Medicines Evaluation Unit (MEU) Ltd is one of the UK’s leading contract research organisations, working in collaboration with the University Hospital of South Manchester. The MEU specialises in performing clinical trials (from Phase I through to IV) in respiratory/inflammatory medicine and related areas. The MEU has an outstanding reputation for performing high quality clinical research complying with UK Clinical Trials Legislation and EU Directives.
For more information please contact:
Verona Pharma plc
Clive Page, Chairman
Jan-Anders Karlsson, CEO Tel: 020 7863 3300
WH Ireland Group Plc
Tel: 020 7220 1650
Melanie Toyne Sewell
Gemma Howe Tel: 020 7457 2020