The study 40 moderate to severe COPD patients assessed ensifentrine’s potential when administered using pressurised metered-dose inhalers similar to the ones used by asthmatics.
It found the treatment delivered “statistically significant and clinically meaningful” increases in lung function across a range of doses.
The results, which also underscored the safety of the Verona discovery, chime with those from earlier trials of ensifentrine using nebulisers and dry powder inhalers as the delivery mechanism.
In a statement, Verona chief executive, David Zaccardelli, said the data from all three formulations supported twice-daily use of the drug.
However, in what is becoming a common theme in medical research, Verona has been forced to postpone enrollment to Part B of the firm’s pressurised metered-dose inhaler ensifentrine because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The company’s end-of-phase II meeting with the US Food & Drug Administration is scheduled for the second quarter, while the start of phase III trials of the nebulised COPD treatment is planned for later this year.
To provide a sense of the scale of the opportunity being chased by Verona, an estimated 5.5mln people in the US alone use metered dose and dry powder inhalers to control the symptoms of COPD, a disease characterised by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. Sales of these maintenance medications stateside were US$9bn last year.