Verona Pharma to Present Expanded Dataset from RPL554 Phase 2b Clinical Trial in COPD at European Respiratory Society International Congress

Late breaking oral presentation will provide additional detail around previously reported top-line results

LONDON, Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP) (Nasdaq: VRNA) (“Verona Pharma”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for respiratory diseases, announces it will present an expanded dataset from its Phase 2b study evaluating RPL554 as a maintenance treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) in an oral presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress (“ERS”) in Paris from September 15-19, 2018.

RPL554 is a first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 designed to have bronchodilator as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and is currently in development for the maintenance treatment of COPD and for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (“CF”).  

Details of the Company’s oral presentation are listed below and the abstract is available to the public online via the European Respiratory Society International Congress website here.

Oral Presentation (Late Breaking Abstract OA1940): RPL554, A First-In-Class Dual PDE3/4 Inhibitor, Causes Significant Bronchodilation and Symptom Relief; a Phase 2b COPD Study
Session 220: Novel Drug Targets for Asthma and COPD
Date and Time: Monday September 17, 2018 at 8:30 AM CEST / 7:30 AM BST / 2:30 AM ET
Location: Paris Expo Porte de Versailles; Room 7.3M

Dave Singh, M.D., Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Respiratory Medicine, Medicines Evaluation Unit, University of Manchester, will present data from the late breaking abstract, expanding on top-line results announced by the Company on March 26, 2018. Dr. Singh will also provide further context around the clinical significance of these results and potential for RPL554 therapy in both the stand-alone and add-on to standard of care settings for patients with this progressive and debilitating disease, where there remains a high unmet medical need.

Verona Pharma has demonstrated in previous Phase 2 trials that RPL554 significantly improves lung function, including improved peak lung function, reduced lung hyperinflation, and faster onset-of-action, when added to some of the most commonly used COPD treatments, including tiotropium, ipratropium, and albuterol. Verona Pharma is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate RPL554 as an add-on treatment to dual LAMA/LABA therapy and triple LAMA/LABA/ICS therapy, as part of a comprehensive clinical program to fully demonstrate the clinical utility of RPL554 in improving the standard of care for COPD. These data will also support the planning of the RPL554 Phase 3 program.

About COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) is a progressive and life-threatening respiratory disease for which there is no cure.1 Although COPD is thought to be underdiagnosed, globally, around 384 million people suffer from the disease.2 This number, according to the World Health Organization (“WHO”), is likely to increase in coming years, with estimates that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.1,[3] The condition damages the airways and the lungs, leading to persistent symptoms of breathlessness, impacting a person’s daily life and their ability to perform simple activities such as walking a short flight of stairs or carrying a suitcase.1 Many experience acute periods of worsening symptoms called ‘exacerbations,’ often leading to emergency department visits or hospital admissions and are also associated with high mortality.4 In the United States alone, the 2010 total annual medical costs related to COPD were estimated to be $32 billion and are projected to rise to $49 billion in 2020.5 About 30-40% of moderate to severe COPD patients on triple inhaled therapy (ICS/LAMA/LABA) remain uncontrolled and continue to experience airway obstruction (breathing difficulties), COPD symptoms and exacerbations.6 There is an urgent need for drugs with novel mechanisms of action that can be used by these patients in addition to current therapies.

About Verona Pharma plc and RPL554
Verona Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical needs. Verona Pharma’s product candidate, RPL554, is a first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 that acts as both a bronchodilator and an anti-inflammatory agent in a single compound. In previous clinical trials, RPL554 has been observed to result in bronchodilator effects when used alone or as an add-on treatment to other COPD bronchodilators. It has shown clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvements in lung function when administered in addition to frequently used short- and long-acting bronchodilators, such as tiotropium (Spiriva®), compared with such bronchodilators administered as a single agent. RPL554 improved FEV1 over four weeks in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD when compared to placebo and improved COPD symptoms and Quality of Life in a Phase 2b multicenter European study performed in 403 patients. In addition, RPL554 has shown anti-inflammatory effects in a standard challenge study with COPD-like inflammation in human subjects. RPL554 has been well tolerated in these studies and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile, having been administered to more than 730 subjects in 12 clinical trials. Verona Pharma is developing RPL554 for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”), cystic fibrosis (“CF”), and potentially asthma.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the value of trial results presented at ERS 2018, RPL554 as a new complementary treatment for patients with COPD, projected annual medical costs related to COPD, the future clinical development and positioning of RPL554, and the treatment potential for RPL554.

These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from our expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: our limited operating history; our need for additional funding to complete development and commercialization of RPL554, which may not be available and which may force us to delay, reduce or eliminate our development or commercialization efforts; the reliance of our business on the success of RPL554, our only product candidate under development; economic, political, regulatory and other risks involved with international operations; the lengthy and expensive process of clinical drug development, which has an uncertain outcome; serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects associated with RPL554, which could adversely affect our ability to develop or commercialize RPL554; potential delays in enrolling patients, which could adversely affect our research and development efforts; we may not be successful in developing RPL554 for multiple indications; our ability to obtain approval for and commercialize RPL554 in multiple major pharmaceutical markets; misconduct or other improper activities by our employees, consultants, principal investigators, and third-party service providers; material differences between our “top-line” data and final data; our reliance on third parties, including clinical investigators, manufacturers and suppliers, and the risks related to these parties’ ability to successfully develop and commercialize RPL554; and lawsuits related to patents covering RPL554 and the potential for our patents to be found invalid or unenforceable. These and other important factors under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on February 27, 2018 relating to our Registration Statement on Form F-1, and our other reports filed with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

For further information, please contact:

Verona Pharma plcTel: +44 (0)20 3283 4200
Jan-Anders Karlsson, Chief Executive 
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Nominated Adviser
and UK Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7710 7600
Stewart Wallace / Jonathan Senior / Ben Maddison 
FTI Consulting (UK Media and Investor enquiries)Tel: +44 (0)20 3727 1000
Simon Conway / Natalie 
ICR, Inc. (US Media and Investor enquiries) 
James HeinsTel: +1 203-682-8251
Stephanie CarringtonTel. +1 646-277-1282 

1 World Health Organization. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Accessed September 2017.

2 Adeloye D, Chua S, et al. Global and regional estimates of COPD prevalence: Systematic review and meta–analysis. J Glob Health 2015; 5(2): 020415.

3 World Health Organization. Burden of COPD. Accessed September 2017.

4 COPD Foundations. Characteristics of COPD Patients Using United States Emergency Care or Hospitalization. Accessed September 2017.

5 Center for Disease Control. Increase Expected in Medical Costs for COPD. Accessed September 2017.

6 Mullerova H., et al., Characterization of COPD Patients Treated With Inhaled Triple Therapy Containing Inhaled Corticosteroid [ICS], Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists [LABA], and Long-Acting Muscarinic Antagonists [LAMA] in the UK, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2017;195:A4986

6 Vestbo J, et al., Single inhaler extrafine triple therapy versus long-acting muscarinic antagonist therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (TRINTY); a double-blind, parallel group, randomised controlled trial, The Lancet, Vol 389, p. 1919-1929; May 13, 2017.


You May Also Like