Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Verona Pharma announces new collaborations to develop dry powder and MDI formulations for COPD

Published 03 April 2017

Verona Pharma has announced new collaborations with two European technology companies to develop its first-in-class product candidate RPL554 as dry powder inhaler (DPI) and metered dose inhaler (MDI) formulations for maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

DPI and MDI devices are the most common forms of drug delivery in non-hospitalized patients with COPD and are well-suited for the maintenance therapy of COPD patients. 

The company has appointed Richard Hennings to its senior management team as Commercial Director, with immediate effect. Richard will oversee the Company's market access strategy and its increasing commercial focus.

With more than 15 years in the healthcare industry, Richard has held a series of roles with increasing responsibility, including leading the commercialisation of certain innovative medicines, strategy development and local operational execution.

His experience spans a number of top global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including AstraZeneca, Gilead Sciences (Gilead) and Novartis. During his tenure at Gilead, Richard was involved in growing Gilead's respiratory development portfolio to include cystic fibrosis and COPD development programmes.

In addition, the Company believes its new collaborations to develop RPL554 in DPI and MDI formulations have the potential to increase the market opportunity for the product, if approved.

Handheld DPI and MDI devices are the most common forms of drug delivery in non-hospitalized patients with COPD and are well suited for maintenance therapy. Following the development of commercially viable formulations, Verona Pharma plans to commence pre-clinical studies with the DPI and MDI formulations and may also explore the potential use of the formulation for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Jan-Anders Karlsson, PhD, CEO of Verona Pharma said: "We are delighted to welcome Richard to the Verona Pharma team and look forward to advancing our market focus and commercial plans under his leadership. Richard brings extensive experience in commercial planning and launch preparations, as well as brand building of innovative respiratory products in the U.S. and Europe.

 "In addition, we believe our new collaborations to develop RPL554 in both DPI and MDI inhaler formulations could improve the product's potential to address the unmet needs of people with difficult-to-manage respiratory diseases such as COPD, and, if approved, could open up commercial opportunities in out-patients that are able to use hand-held inhaler devices."

Source: Company Press Release