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Press Release

Operational Update and Financial Results for the Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2017

Verona Pharma
Posted on: 07 Nov 17

Emerging clinical data confirms the potential for RPL554 to be an important, novel treatment for patients with COPD


November 7, 2017, London – Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP) (Nasdaq: VRNA) (“Verona Pharma” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for respiratory diseases, announces today an operational update and financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017.


The Company’s product candidate RPL554, is a first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4, or PDE3 and PDE4, that acts as both a bronchodilator and an anti-inflammatory agent in a single compound. Verona Pharma is developing RPL554 for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) and cystic fibrosis (“CF”), and potentially asthma.




During the three months ended September 30, 2017 the Company:

·         Reported data from two clinical studies:

o   Positive top-line data from a Phase 2a clinical trial in COPD with RPL554 when dosed in addition to tiotropium (Spiriva®):

§  Achieved significant and clinically meaningful additional improvement in peak lung function when added to tiotropium, a widely used drug to treat COPD;

§  Achieved faster onset-of-action when added to tiotropium; and

§  Demonstrated statistical significance across all primary and secondary efficacy outcome measures, as well as a clear dose response at 6 mg dose compared to 1.5 mg dose;

o   Earlier than expected positive top-line data from U.S. pharmacokinetic (“PK”) trial demonstrated that nebulized RPL554 delivers optimal clinical dose to patients:

  • Confirmed inhaled RPL554 is an appropriate form of administration for patients with chronic COPD and other respiratory disorders; and
  • Demonstrated absorption occurs primarily in the lungs following inhaled administration, consistent with optimal inhaled delivery of medications for the treatment of COPD and asthma;

·         Commenced a 4-week, Phase 2b dose-ranging clinical trial in Europe in approximately 400 patients to investigate the efficacy, safety, and dose-response of nebulized RPL554 for the maintenance treatment of COPD;

o   Study has now enrolled ahead of schedule, more than 200 patients (equivalent to 50% of the study) enrolled, see separate announcement issued today; and

o   Top-line data now expected in mid-2018, and potentially sooner than previous guidance of second-half of 2018;

·         Continued the Phase 2a clinical study to evaluate the PK and pharmacodynamic (“PD”) profile and tolerability of RPL554 in up to 10 CF patients as well as examine the effect on lung function;

o   Top-line data expected in the first half of 2018;

·         Continued development of RPL554 as dry powder inhaler (“DPI”) and metered dose inhaler (“MDI”) formulations for maintenance treatment of COPD.




·         Net cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at September 30, 2017 amounted to £85.5 million (December 31, 2016: £39.8 million);

·         For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, reported operating loss of £19.1 million (first nine months of 2016: £4.1 million) and reported loss after tax of £14.2 million (first nine months of 2016: loss after tax of £4.2 million), reflecting the preparation, initiation and completion of clinical trials and expansion of the team;

·         Reported loss per share of 17.4 pence for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 (first nine months of 2016: loss per share 15.4 pence); and

·         Net cash used in operating activities for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 of £15.8 million (first nine months of 2016: £3.3 million) reflecting increased clinical activities.


Jan-Anders Karlsson, PhD, CEO of Verona Pharma, commented:


“We are delighted to report another period of significant progress for Verona Pharma. We reported positive top-line data from two clinical studies that we completed ahead of schedule during the third quarter.  In a Phase 2a trial RPL554 demonstrated a significant and clinically meaningful improvement in lung function in COPD patients and faster onset of action when administered as an add-on treatment to tiotropium, one of the most widely prescribed LAMA bronchodilators in these patients. In the PK trial in the United States, we demonstrated that inhalation of RPL554 is an appropriate route of administration for people with COPD and other respiratory diseases. We are also pleased that we were able to update the market today on the solid progress being made in enrolling patients in our 4-week Phase 2b COPD trial and we now expect to report top line data in mid-2018.”


Conference Call and Webcast Information


Verona Pharma will host an investment community conference call at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (1:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time) on November 7, 2017. Analysts and investors may participate in the conference call by utilizing the conference ID: 1550110 and dialing the following numbers:


  • (877)-280-1254 or (646)-254-3388 for callers in the United States
  • 0800 279 5736 or 44 (0) 20 3427 1901 for callers in the United Kingdom
  • 0800 589 2673 or 49 (0) 69 2222 10619 for callers in Germany


Those interested in listening to the conference call live via the internet may do so by visiting the “Investors” page of Verona Pharma’s website at and clicking on the webcast link.  A webcast replay of the conference call [audio] will be available on the “Investors” page of Verona Pharma’s website at


An electronic copy of the interim results will be made available today on the Company’s website ( This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the Company’s securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.


This press release contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 07/11/2017

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