Verona Pharma pens trial deal with QuintilesIMS for RPL554

The med is in trials for COPD and cystic fibrosis

Last year, Cardiff, U.K.-based Verona secured £44.7 million ($65.6 million) from big-name investors on both sides of the Atlantic for work on its PDE3/PDE4 inhibitor RPL554. It has now teamed up with the recently merged QuintilesIMS to help it run further studies of its leading med.

The deal, according to a statement from the pair, is a “research and operational platform for clinical trials” for the drug, in test for both respiratory conditions COPD and cystic fibrosis.

Under the new pact, the CRO arm of QuintilesIMS will “serve as sole provider of core clinical trial services for Verona Pharma’s RPL554 clinical development programs.” Verona Pharma, meanwhile, will gain full access to Quintiles’ CRO experts throughout each trial.

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The biotech will also be able to tap QuintilesIMS’ global sales strategy and experience when it gears up to try and market its med in the U.S. (should it gain approval). Financial details have not however been revealed.

Last summer, Verona secured the backing of the investors on the strength of phase 1/2 data that suggest RPL554 can deliver bronchodilation and anti-inflammatory effects without also causing the nausea and other side effects that have hindered earlier PDE4 inhibitors.

Having raised the money, it said at the time that it was ready to ramp up the scope of its clinical development program.

Dr Jan-Anders Karlsson, Verona’s CEO, said: “Verona Pharma is focused on advancing the clinical development of RPL554 for the treatment of COPD and cystic fibrosis. The company has already completed eight phase 1 and 2a clinical trials for RPL554, and we believe that our strategic services agreement with QuintilesIMS will enhance the agility, productivity and commercial viability of our development activities as we progress multiple larger and later stage clinical trials.”

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