Shares move 2.3% higher to 38.6p on extended release flu treatment CCP-08 set to be filed with US regulator the Food & Drug Administration later this year.
The treatment has to complete a stability study before the results are handed to the drug approval body.
This is the first of two candidates in Vernalis’ pipeline that will be put in front of the regulator in the second half of 2016 after CCP-07 completed a stability study in April.
Analysts at Panmure Gordon expect CCP-08 to be on the market in the third quarter of 2017, if approved, just in time for the flu season.
Three candidates from Vernalis’ cough-cold portfolio have completed clinical trials. There could be more on the way.
The company has an agreement where Tris Pharma will develop six treatments for the US prescription market. Tens of millions of such prescriptions are written for the condition in the country each year.
Berkshire-based Vernalis launched the first treatment, Tuzistra XR, in September 2015. Demand was disappointing due to a benign cough-cold season, while the liquidation of one of its ingredient suppliers did not help.
‘We expect Tuzistra sales to pick up as the incidence of Influenza related illness begins to rise, usually from September,’ Julie Simmonds at Panmiure Gordon says.
Vernalis is well funded with £84 million cash on the balance sheet. The pharmaceutical benefits from a weak pound as it holds 73% of its cash in US dollars, where the majority of its costs are generated.
‘We continue to believe that Vernalis has sufficient cash to drive the company towards profitability on the back of growing US cough-cold product revenues,’ Canaccord Genuity’s analysts note.