- Respiratory disease-focused Verona Pharma said World Health Organization had approved 'ensifentrine' as the recommended international non-proprietary name for one of its drug candidates.

Ensifentrine was the name given to RPL554, which the company said was a first-in-class, inhaled, dual inhibitor of the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4, designed to have bronchodilator as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

The candidate was currently in development for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and potentially asthma.

'We are pleased to receive approval from the WHO for the use of 'ensifentrine', which to our knowledge, is the only molecule with a name assignment using the '-fentrine' stem currently in clinical development,' chief executive Jan-Anders Karlsson said.

'We believe that this designation underlines our drug candidate's position as a novel compound with a dual bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory mechanism of action.

At 1:16pm: [LON:VRP] Verona Pharma PLC share price was +17.5p at 115p

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