- Respiratory diseases-focused Verona Pharma said it booked an £11.5m operating loss for the six months through June as it continued to invest in a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The loss had widened from £10.9m of red ink on-year and was pinned on a higher finance expenses.

'We continue to advance the clinical development of nebulized RPL554 for COPD as exemplified by the data readout from the Phase 2b four week, 400 patient trial in the first quarter and the recent commencement of dosing in our next Phase 2 trial in the US and UK,' chief executive Jan-Anders Karlsson said.

'This new trial will examine the effect of inhaled RPL554 as an add-on to LAMA/LABA therapy, and in some patients as an addition to triple therapy.'

'Many of these COPD patients continue to experience breathing difficulties and daily symptoms that impair their quality of life despite treatment with double and triple therapy.'

'We believe the bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties of RPL554 will be particularly useful in this large group of patients with a high unmet medical need, and very limited treatment options.'

'This Phase 2 trial is intended to provide important data to inform the design of pivotal Phase 3 trials with RPL554, expected to commence later next year.'

At 9:30am: [LON:VRP] Verona Pharma PLC share price was +1.5p at 120.5p

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