Verona Pharma plc, the biotechnology company dedicated to discovering new drugs for the treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, has applied to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Governmental agency in the UK with responsibility for standards of safety, quality and performance of new drug treatments, to conduct clinical trials in the UK.
RPL554 is Verona Pharma’s lead drug compound which is a long acting bronchodilator/anti-inflammatory drug belonging to a class of drugs known as a mixed phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3/4 inhibitor. Verona Pharma is investigating its use for the treatment of respiratory diseases including asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Professor Michael Walker, CEO of Verona Pharma, said: “The MHRA is a world renowned regulatory body and the UK is a world centre for respiratory studies and has a wealth of experience and expertise in this area, having been responsible for the introduction of most of the inhaled drugs used in the treatment of asthma and COPD. The application to the MHRA is part of Verona’s strategy to access the best expertise available and to pave the way for ongoing clinical development and commercialization in key markets. Approval by the MHRA to conduct UK trials of RPL554 would be an important endorsement of the drug’s potential therapeutic value.”
Whilst licensing discussions for RPL554 continue, the Company is performing further trials to broaden its knowledge of the therapeutic utility of RPL554 and to progress the RPL554 programme towards commercialization. Further clinical trial data will be provided to potential licensees and is expected to add value to the RPL554 licensing package.
The Company is also pleased to announce that is has received ethics approval from the appropriate ethical authority in Italy to proceed with its exploratory Phase II trial in COPD patients at the Tor Vergata hospital in Rome.