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Vernalis PLC (VNLPY.PK) And Servier Achieve Research Milestone As BCL-2 Inhibitor Drug Candidate Enters Phase I


6/19/2014 9:01:10 AM

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WINNERSH, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - June 19, 2014) - Vernalis PLC (LSE: VER) (PINKSHEETS: VNLPY)

19 June 2014
LSE: VER

Vernalis and Servier achieve Research Milestone
as BCL-2 inhibitor drug candidate enters Phase I

Vernalis plc and Servier today announce the achievement of a milestone following the treatment of the first patient in a Servier sponsored Phase I trial with a promising new drug candidate, a selective BCL-2 inhibitor identified through their joint oncology drug discovery
collaboration.

As a result, Vernalis will receive a payment of EUR1.0 million in recognition of this achievement.

This BCL-2 selective inhibitor is the first drug candidate stemming from an on-going collaboration between Vernalis and Servier aimed at discovering anticancer drug candidates selective for individual BCL-2
family members.

Ian Garland, CEO of Vernalis commented: "We are delighted that this new BCL-2 inhibitor candidate has now entered Phase I trials and look forward to further success from our broad, strategic collaboration with Servier."

Jean-Pierre Abastado, Director of the Center of Therapeutic Innovation in Oncology at Servier, said: "Our experience with Vernalis shows that small molecules tailored against specific targets can have very high therapeutic potential. This success was achieved through a comprehensive chemistry and biology research program with our teams identifying and characterizing this promising BCL-2 inhibitor. This new compound further extends Servier's portfolio beyond kinase inhibitors, HDAC inhibitors and immunotherapeutic products."

-- ends --

About BCL-2 target:

Proteins of the BCL-2 family are crucial regulators of apoptosis. Deregulations of this protein family play a major role in the aberrant survival of tumour cells. Within this protein family, BCL-2 belongs to the pro-survival members and is often overexpressed in tumour cells. Pro-survival BCL-2 family members have been recognized as attractive therapeutic targets in oncology for more than twenty years but drug discovery research on this class of target is particularly challenging and requires innovative chemistry supported by structural biology.

About Servier

Founded in 1954, Servier is an independent French pharmaceutical research company. Its development is based on the continuous pursuit of innovation in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular-, metabolic-, neurologic-, psychiatric-, bone- and joint diseases as well as cancer. In 2013, the company recorded a turnover of 4.2 billion euros. 91% of Servier drugs are consumed outside France. 27% of turnover from Servier drugs were reinvested in Research and Development in 2013. With a strong international presence in 140 countries, Servier employs more than 21000 people worldwide. The Servier Group contributed 35% to the 2013 French trade surplus in the pharmaceuticals sector.

More information is available at:www.servier.com

About Vernalis

Vernalis is a revenue generating development stage pharmaceutical company with significant expertise in drug development. The Group has one marketed product, frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine, an exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialise multiple novel products focussed on the US prescription cough cold market as well as seven programmes in its NCE development pipeline. Vernalis has also significant expertise in fragment and structure based drug discovery which it leverages to enter into collaborations with larger pharmaceutical companies. The Company's technologies, capabilities and products have been endorsed over the last five years by collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies, including Biogen Idec, Endo, GSK, Genentech, Lundbeck, Menarini, Novartis, Servier and Tris.

For further information about Vernalis, please visit www.vernalis.com

Vernalis Forward-Looking Statement

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events including the clinical development and regulatory clearance of the Company's products, the Company's ability to find partners for the development and commercialisation of its products, as well as the Company's future capital raising activities. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Company's research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the uncertainties related to the regulatory process, the ability of the Company to identify and agree beneficial terms with suitable partners for the commercialisation and/or development of its products, as well as the achievement of expected synergies from such transactions, the acceptance of frovatriptan and other products by consumers and medical professionals, the successful integration of completed mergers and acquisitions and achievement of expected synergies from such transactions, and the ability of the Company to identify and consummate suitable strategic and business combination transactions.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange


Enquiries:

Vernalis plc:
Ian Garland
Chief Executive Officer
David Mackney
Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0) 118 938 0015

Canaccord Genuity Limited (Nominated Adviser):
Lucy Tilley
Dr Julian Feneley
Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor
+44 (0) 20 7523 8350

Shore Capital (Joint Broker):
Bidhi Bhoma
Toby Gibbs
+44 (0)20 7408 4090

Brunswick Group:
Jon Coles
+44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Servier Communication Department
+33 1 5572 6037
presse@servier.fr



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