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AIM-Quoted Verona Pharma Progresses Anti-Asthma Drug Studies

LONDON, November 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AIM-quoted drug discovery company Verona Pharma is pleased to announce another important step forward in the planned development of its anti-asthma and hay fever drug treatment.

The Company's novel anti-asthmatic compound, RPL554, is now entering a second 28-day experimental inhalation toxicology study in another species in order to demonstrate safety, before moving onto the proof of concept clinical trials early next year.

RPL554 is a long-acting bronchodilator/anti-inflammatory molecule being developed to treat hay fever (rhinitis), asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A significant feature of RPL554 is that it does not use steroids or beta agonists, which are present in many of today's treatments, but have unwanted side effects and/or limited effectiveness. Verona Pharma is aiming to exploit a major opportunity in the US$20 billion respiratory market with this compound.

RPL554 was invented by Sir David Jack, the former GlaxoSmithKline Research Director who pioneered many of the leading respiratory drugs already in use. Verona Pharma has acquired the intellectual property rights to RPL554 as a key potential new drug within its drug discovery and development portfolio.

The inhalation studies will be undertaken by LAB Research Inc of Hungary, which is already conducting other safety studies on RPL554.

Verona Pharma was admitted to AIM on 19 September 2006. Dr. Walker is Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, and founder of other biotech and biotech related companies. Chairman Dr. Clive Page is a Professor of Pharmacology at King's College London, and an internationally-recognised authority in lung diseases and inflammation.

Background information follows:

Verona Pharma plc has signed the contract with LAB Research Inc. of Hungary to carry out the second regulatory inhalation toxicity study. The results of this study and other toxicology studies will be analysed and included in the Investigational Medicinal Product Dossier (IMPD) the company plans to submit to regulatory agencies to commence clinical studies in early 2008.

About Verona Pharma plc (

Verona Pharma plc (AIM:VRP) is an AIM-quoted drug discovery company that is focused on finding new therapeutic drugs for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and other chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as chronic inflammatory diseases.

The Company is currently developing RPL554, a long-acting bronchodilator/anti-inflammatory drug (belonging to a class of drugs known as mixed phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3/4 inhibitors) that could be rapidly brought to clinical proof-of-concept for the treatment of hay fever and asthma. As a PDE3/4 inhibitor, RPL554 targets the underlying cause of these respiratory diseases by dilating the bronchial passages and blocking inflammation through a non-steroid or beta agonist dependent mechanism.

Verona Pharma is also exploiting novel polysaccharides as potential anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of respiratory allergies, asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

About LAB Research Inc

LAB Research is a non-clinical contract research organisation that provides contract research services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agro-chemical and industrial markets. LAB Research supports the development of its customers' products from three state-of-the-art facilities located in Canada, Denmark and Hungary.

SOURCE Verona Pharma PLC
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