Source - PRN

Verona Pharma plc

("Verona Pharma" or the "Company")

Appointment of CFO

26 September 2016, Cardiff – Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP.L), the drug development company focused on first-in-class medicines to treat respiratory diseases, announces the appointment of Piers John Morgan as Chief Financial Officer with effect from 26 September 2016.

Mr Morgan (aged 50) is a Chartered Accountant with close to 25 years’ financial experience, predominantly in the life sciences sector, having held both corporate and advisory senior positions.  He has extensive financing expertise, having led IPOs on AIM, NASDAQ and Euronext Paris as well as having completed more than 120 transactions.

He was previously the CEO of C4X Discovery plc, a small molecule discovery and development company, where he led the company’s successful IPO on London’s AIM market in 2014. Prior to this he co-founded uniQure, a gene therapy company, where he spent five years as CFO leading a number of equity and debt transactions, including the company’s $92 million IPO on NASDAQ in 2014. He has also held CFO roles at London listed Phytopharm, Paris listed BioAlliance Pharma and Arrow Therapeutics. He is currently a Non-executive Director at Quethera Ltd, a private gene therapy company and was previously Non-Exec Chairman of Trino Therapeutics.

Between 1997 and 2000 he was a Director in the Ernst and Young Life Sciences M&A practice, where he founded the Life Sciences M&A team. Prior to this he spent five years as an Assistant Director at Close Brothers Corporate Finance.

Commenting on the appointment, Verona Pharma’s CEO, Jan-Anders Karlsson, said:

We are delighted to welcome Piers to Verona Pharma. He brings a strong track record and deep financial and public company experience. He joins at an exciting and important stage in Verona Pharma’s journey. His broad experience and insights into international markets provide an excellent complementary skill set to the management team. The recent fundraising was transformational for the Company and will enable us to accelerate the clinical development of RPL554.  Preparations have started for the forthcoming Phase 2b trials, with first clinical dosing expected in the second quarter of 2017.  We continue to believe RPL554 has the potential to be an important new treatment option for patients with COPD and possibly cystic fibrosis.”

As Mr. Morgan’s role is a non-board appointment, there is no further disclosure required under Schedule Two paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules. 

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Verona Pharma plc Tel: +44 (0)20 3283 4200
Jan-Anders Karlsson, Chief Executive Officer
N+1 Singer Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000
Aubrey Powell / Jen Boorer
FTI Consulting Tel: +44 (0)20 3727 1000
Simon Conway / Stephanie Cuthbert /
Natalie Garland-Collins

Notes to Editors

About Verona Pharma plc

Verona Pharma plc is a UK-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative prescription medicines to treat respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical needs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and cystic fibrosis. 

Verona Pharma's lead drug, RPL554, is a first-in-class drug in Phase 2 trials as a nebulised treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD in the hospital setting.  The drug is a dual phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3/4 inhibitor and therefore has both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects, which are essential to the improvement of patients with COPD and asthma. 

Verona Pharma is also building a broader portfolio of RPL554-containing products to maximise its benefit to patients and its value.  This includes the very significant markets for COPD and asthma maintenance therapy.  The Company is also exploring the potential of the drug in different diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, where it is in pre-clinical testing and has received a Venture and Innovation Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

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