Verona Pharma Announces Publication of Phase 2b Dose-Ranging COPD Data in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Ensifentrine improves lung function and quality of life when added to maintenance tiotropium

London, UNITED KINGDOM


LONDON and RALEIGH, N.C., April 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verona Pharma plc (Nasdaq: VRNA) (“Verona Pharma”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on respiratory diseases, announces publication of efficacy and safety results from a previously reported Phase 2b clinical trial with nebulized ensifentrine added on to maintenance bronchodilator therapy in symptomatic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) patients. The study results were published in the leading peer reviewed journal, International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

The publication reports on results from the 4-week 416-patient study, first reported by Verona Pharma on January 13, 2020, where nebulized ensifentrine added on to maintenance tiotropium (Spiriva® Respimat®), a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (“LAMA”) bronchodilator, met the primary endpoint demonstrating clinically and statistically significant dose-dependent improvements in lung function at all doses. In addition, clinically relevant secondary endpoints were met including statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in quality of life compared to placebo added on to tiotropium over 4 weeks of treatment. Ensifentrine demonstrated a safety profile similar to placebo.

Ensifentrine is a first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase (“PDE”) 3 and 4 that has been shown to act both as a bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory agent in a single compound.

The new publication is entitled "A dose-ranging study of the novel inhaled dual PDE 3 and 4 inhibitor ensifentrine in patients with COPD receiving maintenance tiotropium therapy” and is available here. Further information about this study can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03937479.

Gary T. Ferguson, MD, Director of the Pulmonary Research Institute of Southeast Michigan and Principal Investigator in the Phase 2b study that evaluated ensifentrine added on to tiotropium commented: “These data in symptomatic COPD patients on maintenance bronchodilator therapy, combined with ensifentrine’s unique mode of action, support its potential as a novel COPD therapy. The improvements in patient quality of life and lung function when added to tiotropium highlight the potential of this novel mechanism of action.”

For further information please contact:

  
Verona Pharma plcUS Tel: +1-833-417-0262
UK Tel: +44 (0)203 283 4200
Victoria Stewart, Director of Communicationsinfo@veronapharma.com
  
Argot Partners
(US Investor Enquiries)
Tel: +1-212-600-1902
verona@argotpartners.com
Kimberly Minarovich / Michael Barron 
  
Optimum Strategic Communications
(International Media and European Investor Enquiries)
Tel: +44 (0)203 950 9144
verona@optimumcomms.com
Mary Clark / Eva Haas / Shabnam Bashir 

About Ensifentrine

Ensifentrine (RPL554) is an investigational, first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 (“PDE3” and “PDE4”). This dual inhibition enables it to combine both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects in one compound. Ensifentrine also activates the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (“CFTR”), which is beneficial in reducing mucous viscosity and improving mucociliary clearance. Ensifentrine’s mechanism of action has the potential to alleviate respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness and cough and work against inflammation associated with COPD or inflammation triggered by viruses.

Ensifentrine has demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful improvements in both lung function and symptoms, including breathlessness, in Verona Pharma’s Phase 2 clinical studies in patients with moderate to severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (“COPD”). In addition, nebulized ensifentrine showed further improved lung function and reduced lung volumes in COPD patients taking standard short- and long-acting bronchodilator therapy, including maximum bronchodilator treatment with dual/triple therapy. Ensifentrine has been well tolerated in clinical trials involving more than 1,300 subjects to date.

About Verona Pharma

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. If successfully developed and approved, Verona Pharma’s product candidate, ensifentrine, has the potential to be the first therapy for the treatment of respiratory diseases that combines bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities in one compound. The Company is evaluating nebulized ensifentrine in its Phase 3 clinical program ENHANCE (“Ensifentrine as a Novel inHAled Nebulized COPD thErapy”) for COPD maintenance treatment. Two additional formulations of ensifentrine are in Phase 2 development for the treatment of COPD: dry powder inhaler (“DPI”) and pressurized metered-dose inhaler (“pMDI”). Ensifentrine has potential applications in cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory diseases. For more information, please visit www.veronapharma.com.

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 development of ensifentrine, the potential for ensifentrine to be a first-in-class phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 inhibitor and to be the first therapy for the treatment of respiratory diseases to combine bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities in one compound, and the potential of ensifentrine in the treatment of COPD, cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory diseases, as well as the potential of the DPI and pMDI formulations of ensifentrine.

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 ensifentrine, 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 ensifentrine, 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 ensifentrine, which could adversely affect our ability to develop or commercialize ensifentrine; potential delays in enrolling patients, which could adversely affect our research and development efforts and the completion of our clinical trials; we may not be successful in developing ensifentrine for multiple indications; our ability to obtain approval for and commercialize ensifentrine in multiple major pharmaceutical markets; misconduct or other improper activities by our employees, consultants, principal investigators, and third-party service providers; our future growth and ability to compete depends on retaining our key personnel and recruiting additional qualified personnel; material differences between our “top-line” data and final data; our reliance on third parties, including clinical research organizations, clinical investigators, manufacturers and suppliers, and the risks related to these parties’ ability to successfully develop and commercialize ensifentrine; and lawsuits related to patents covering ensifentrine and the potential for our patents to be found invalid or unenforceable; changes in our tax rates, unavailability of certain tax credits or reliefs or exposure to additional tax liabilities or assessments could affect our profitability, and audits by tax authorities could result in additional tax payments for prior periods; and our vulnerability to natural disasters, global economic factors and other unexpected events, including health epidemics or pandemics like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has and may continue to adversely impact our business. These and other important factors under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, 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.