Verona's asthma compound goes clinic
AIM-listed Verona Pharma’s (London) long-acting Phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 inhibitor RPL554 is going to enter clinical trials. After finalisation of an animal toxicological study of the nasally administered drug candidate for the treatment of allergic respiratory diseases, the company announced it aims to begin a combined Phase I/IIa study at the end of June to assess whether the compound is safe and effective in healthy people with stable mild asthma. RPL554 is a long-acting bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory molecule being developed to treat hay fever (rhinitis), asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The compound does not use steroids or beta agonists, which are present in many current treatments, but show unwanted side effects or limited effectiveness. Verona Pharma is aiming to partner or licence-out the compound, which targets the US$20 bn respiratory market, in early stage.