- Verona Pharma booked a loss in the March quarter as it continued to prove up the efficacy of its treatment candidates.

Net losses for the three months through March amounted to £5.4m, compared to losses of £15.3m on-year.

Operating losses were £7.8m, compared to losses of £5.9m on-year.

Operating expenses increased due to an expansion of research and development activity, the company said.

'The Phase 2b clinical trial with nebulized ensifentrine for COPD has begun as planned and we anticipate completing patient dosing in this study by the end of 2019,' chief executive Jan-Anders Karlsson said.

'We then plan to advance into our Phase 3 clinical trial program, which we expect to commence in 2020 following the completion of the end of Phase 2 meeting with the FDA.'

'We reported positive interim data from our first inhaler study which opens an opportunity to provide an ensifentrine inhaler to the millions of COPD patients who prefer to use a handheld inhaler device.'

'We believe this is a very attractive commercial opportunity.'

At 9:30am: [LON:VRP] Verona Pharma PLC share price was +1.5p at 59.5p

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