AIM-listed drug developer Verona Pharma (LON:VRP) saw its shares surge 29.66% to 94p (as of 11:40 BST) after it got FDA authorisation to proceed with a clinical trial of ensifentrine in COVID-19 patients. This pilot programme will be run in addition to tests using a nebulised version of the drug to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease later this year.
CEO David Zaccardelli commented: “To date, the impact of COVID-19 on clinical development programs has been limited, but we continue to monitor the situation and have put in place mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 related delays. In March, due to the pandemic, we postponed the start of the second, multiple dose, part of the Phase 2 study with the pMDI formulation of ensifentrine in patients with moderate to severe COPD. I am pleased to report that we now plan to initiate the second part of this study in the third quarter of 2020 with results anticipated in the first half of 2021“.