Verona Pharma to Present Clinical and Pre-Clinical Data Highlighting the Significant Bronchodilator Activity of Novel Dual PDE3/4 Inhibitor RPL554 at Upcoming American Thoracic Society International Conference

Published: May 16, 2013

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May 16, 2013 -- Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP), the drug development company focused on "first-in-class" medicines to treat respiratory diseases, today announces that three posters will be presented at the upcoming annual American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference, Philadelphia, USA, 17-22 May 2013.

The posters detail results from successfully completed phase IIa trials on Verona Pharma's lead drug RPL554 delivered as a nebulised aerosol. These studies highlight the tolerability, safety and significant bronchodilator activity of this novel PDE3/4 inhibitor in patients with mild to moderate asthma or mild to moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Results from a supportive preclinical study demonstrating the dilatory action of the drug on isolated human airways and its synergistic action with muscarinic receptor antagonists will also be presented.

Clinical and preclinical data to date on RPL554, including a recently completed clinical study that demonstrated its significant anti-inflammatory properties, continue to support the Company's view that this drug could become an important and complementary inhaled medicine for the treatment of such respiratory diseases as asthma and COPD, either as mono-therapy, or as an addition to existing therapies.

Verona Pharma is initially progressing further development of RPL554, in nebulised form, as a treatment for severe COPD, a significant unmet medical need.

The ATS international conference is a key annual forum at which the latest scientific discoveries and clinical advances that are changing the practise of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicines are presented.

The title, timing and location of the poster presentations are as follows:

Abstract 40128

Title: Safety and bronchodilator effects of nebulized RPL554, a novel dual PDE 3/4 inhibitor in COPD

First Author: M. Cazzola, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome Italy

Session Info: Thematic Poster Session, [A43] Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Treatment: Novel Agents And Safety Studies

Day/Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013

Session Time: 8:15 AM - 4:30 PM EST

Poster Viewing: 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Room: Room: Area F (Halls C-D, 200 Level) Pennsylvania Convention Center

Abstract 40203

Title: RPL554, a dual phosphodiesterase 3/4 inhibitor, relaxes human bronchi and acts synergistically with muscarinic receptor antagonists

First Author: M.G. Matera, Second University of Naples, Naples Italy

Session Info: Thematic Poster Session, [A43] Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Treatment: Novel Agents And Safety Studies

Day/Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013

Session Time: 8:15 AM - 4:30 PM

Poster Viewing: 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Room: Area F (Halls C-D, 200 Level) Pennsylvania Convention Center

Abstract 41325

Title: RPL554, a novel dual PDE 3/4 inhibitor, is well tolerated and maintains bronchodilator activity when administered by inhalation to mild-to-moderate allergic asthmatics on 6 consecutive days

First Author: L. Franciosi, Verona Pharma, London

Session Info: Poster Discussion Session, [C23] Novel Therapeutics In Asthma

Day/Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Session Time: 8:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Poster Viewing 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

Discussion: 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Room: 113 A (100 Level) Pennsylvania Convention Center

The abstracts will be released immediately following the poster presentations and will subsequently be available for download on Verona Pharma's website after May 22, 2013, see

For further information please contact:

Verona Pharma plc Tel: 020 7863 3300

Clive Page, Chairman

Jan-Anders Karlsson, CEO

WH Ireland Limited Tel: 020 7220 1666

Chris Fielding

Nick Field

FTI Consulting Tel: 020 7831 3113

Julia Phillips

Simon Conway

About Verona Pharma plc

Verona Pharma 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 phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3 and 4 inhibitor with both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties. VRP700 is an innovative product for suppressing chronic, severe cough 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.

About RPL554 for the treatment of COPD and Asthma

Verona's lead drug, RPL554, is a dual phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3 and 4 inhibitor being developed as a novel treatment for chronic obstructive airways disease such as COPD and asthma with bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects. Both effects are essential to improve symptoms in patients with COPD or asthma. RPL554 is currently in phase II for both diseases.

COPD is a chronic lung disease with significant unmet need for which current treatment is far from optimal, as it often has unwanted side-effects and/or limited effectiveness. COPD is most commonly characterised by fixed airflow obstruction and chronic airways inflammation resulting from exposure to irritants like tobacco smoke. Asthma, which remains one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, is characterised by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. The market for COPD and asthma drugs is estimated to be £20 billion [source: visiongain].

About VRP700 for the treatment of Cough

VRP700 is Verona Pharma's lead drug compound for the treatment of cough, having a novel mechanism of action involving the suppression of cough initiating signals originating from cough sensory nerve endings located in the lungs. A clinical trial completed at the University of Florence, Italy in September 2011 clearly demonstrated significant anti-tussive effects with nebulised VRP700 in hospitalized patients with chronic severe cough.

Cough can be a very debilitating comorbidity reported by patients, especially those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, fibrosis or lung infections. It is a neglected symptom which is often self-medicated. Consumer spending on OTC medications, including those for cough, grew by 10% over 2005-10, to reach GBP532 million [source: Mintel]. However, there is very little clinical evidence for such OTC cough medications being really effective and it is widely recognised by the medical community that there is a large need for more effective drugs to control and prevent pathologically induced coughing.

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