3 March 2015

Trading and Development Programme Update

VERONA PHARMA PLC - Trading and Development Programme Update

PR Newswire

                               Verona Pharma plc

                      ("Verona Pharma" or the "Company")

                    Trading and Development Programme Update

             Solid progress leads to acceleration of RPL554 trials

3 March 2015, Cardiff - Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP.L), the drug development
company focused on first-in-class medicines to treat respiratory diseases,
today announces a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2014, as well
as an update on the Company's development programme for its lead drug, RPL554.
It is expected that financial results for the year ended 31 December 2014 will
be published during the first week of May.

The closing cash position at year end was £9.97m, in line with market
expectations. The Board continues to believe that this is sufficient capital to
progress RPL554 to the start of Phase IIb clinical trials in 2016.

The Company expects to report a slightly lower than expected loss before tax of
approximately £3.7m for the year ended 31 December 2014. The loss reflects
slightly lower than expected expenditure on R&D and slightly lower expenditure
than expected on general and administrative costs. Costs associated with
expansion of the senior management team and board only incurred towards the end
of the year.

Update on RPL554 Development Programme

Verona Pharma is fully focused on developing RPL554 and in January this year
announced that the first subjects had successfully been dosed in the initial
clinical trial with its new proprietary and commercially scalable nebulized
formulation of RPL554. The initial clinical trials are designed to prepare
RPL554 for the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Board remains excited by the prospects for RPL554 as it advances further
into development in 2015. Following a thorough review of the planned
development and associated expenditure for RPL554, the Board has concluded that
it is now timely to accelerate the work on the drug to progress to the start of
phase IIb clinical trials in 2016. Therefore, gross R&D expense to be incurred
in 2015 will be substantially greater than previously expected. The higher R&D
spending in 2015 essentially results from moving work forward from 2016 into
the current year.

The overall expenditures for 2015 are currently expected to be approximately a
third higher than previously anticipated, before taking into account the
prospective benefit of R&D tax credits. The Company will continue to apply for
these and reasonably expects such recovery to rise proportionately with the
increased R&D expenditure and be realised in the subsequent accounting period.

In Q4 2014, the Board was strengthened by the addition of a highly experienced
new Chairman and a full-time Chief Financial Officer with significant
transaction experience. In addition, senior management was augmented at the
beginning of this year with the appointment of an experienced Chief Medical
Officer, a pulmonologist with deep respiratory expertise.

Dr Jan-Anders Karlsson, Chief Executive Officerof Verona Pharma, said:

"We plan to start a number of additional studies with the new proprietary
formulation of RPL554 this year. The aim of these studies is to confirm its
benign safety profile while further demonstrating the pronounced bronchodilator
activity in healthy subjects, asthmatics and COPD patients of this unique
first-in-class drug. Results from these trials will be reported as they occur
on an ongoing basis during the year. We will be able to provide the first
update from the on-going study in the Medicines Evaluation Unit, Manchester, at
the beginning of the second quarter, which is earlier than expected."

                                    -Ends-

For further information please contact:

Verona Pharma plc                       Tel: +44 (0) 20 3283 4200

Jan-Anders Karlsson, Chief Executive
Officer

N+1 Singer                              Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000

Aubrey Powell / Jen Boorer

FTI Consulting                          Tel: +44 (0)20 3727 1000

Julia Phillips / Simon Conway

Notes to Editors

About Verona Pharma plc

Verona Pharma plc is a UK-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company
focused on the development of innovative prescription medicines to treat
respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical needs, such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Verona Pharma's lead drug, RPL554, is a first-in-class drug currently in Phase
II trials as a nebulised treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD in the
hospital setting. The drug is a dual phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3/4 inhibitor and
therefore has both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects, which are
essential to the improvement of patients with COPD and asthma.

Verona Pharma is also building a broader portfolio of RPL554-containing
products to maximise its benefit to patients and its value. This includes the
very significant markets for COPD and asthma maintenance therapy. The Company
is also exploring the potential of the drug in different diseases, such as
cystic fibrosis, where it is in pre-clinical testing and has recently received
a Venture and Innovation Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Sixty-five million people worldwide suffer from moderate to severe COPD and the
World Health Organisation (WHO) expects COPD to be the 3rd leading cause of
death globally by 2020. It is the only major chronic disease with increasing
mortality. Currently available drugs are aimed at long-term maintenance
therapy, with the market dominated by large pharma. Despite the wide
availability of these therapies, COPD patients suffer acute periods of
worsening symptoms (exacerbations), which cause, in the US alone, some 1.5
million A&E visits, 726,000 hospitalisations and 120,000 deaths per annum.

IMS Consulting Group considers bronchodilating therapy to be the standard of
care, and agents can be administered via handheld devices such as metered dose
inhaler (MDI), dry powder inhaler (DPI) and by nebulisers. The nebulised
bronchodilator market was worth about $1 billion in 2014 in the US. RPL554 is
being developed by Verona Pharma as an add-on therapy to the "Standard of Care"
with the objectives of providing rapid and pronounced improvement in lung
function, reduced symptoms and both shortened duration of hospital stays and
reduced re-admission rates 30 days after discharge from hospital. Studies to
date on RPL554 have demonstrated that it has a strongly differentiated 3-way
mode of action, being: (1) bronchodilation (the relaxation of smooth muscle in
the airway); (2) anti-inflammatory effects on cells and (3) ion channel
activation in epithelial cells, with increased mucociliary clearance of the
airway.

For further information please contact:

 

Verona Pharma plc
Jan-Anders Karlsson, CEO
Tel: +44 (0)20 3283 4200
info@veronapharma.com

N+1 Singer (Nominated Adviser and UK Broker)
Aubrey Powell / James White
Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000

 

 

FTI Consulting
Simon Conway / Stephanie Cuthbert / Natalie Garland-Collins
Tel: +44 (0)20 3727 1000
veronapharma@fticonsulting.com

ICR, Inc. (US Media and Investor enquiries)
James Heins
Tel: +1 203-682-8251
James.Heins@icrinc.com

Stephanie Carrington
Tel. +1 646-277-1282
Stephanie.Carrington@icrinc.com


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Verona Pharma plc
3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE
T: +44 (0)203 283 4200

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