SOURCE: Vernalis PLC

December 19, 2014 02:00 ET

Vernalis plc: Update on AUY922 Development Programme

WINNERSH, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec 19, 2014) - Vernalis plc (LSE: VER)

Update on AUY922 development programme

Vernalis plc today announces that Novartis has informed Vernalis that it is has ceased all development work on AUY922, the novel intravenous Hsp90 inhibitor and rights from the programme will now revert to Vernalis. This programme was out-licensed to Novartis in 2004 and since then Vernalis has made no further investment. Novartis has been investigating AUY922 for the treatment of a range of solid cancer tumours.

The process to hand back programme data will take place in early 2015. When completed, Vernalis will review the data and decide on next steps and how best to take the programme forward.

Ian Garland, CEO of Vernalis commented, "This is disappointing news, but illustrates the risks involved in new chemical entity drug development and supports our strategic shift to lower risk later stage programmes. This programme had potential to add future value, if it had successfully progressed through development but was not a driver of near term value for Vernalis".

Notes to Editors

About Vernalis

Vernalis is a revenue generating development stage pharmaceutical company with significant expertise in drug development. The Group has one marketed product, frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine, an exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialise multiple novel products focussed on the US prescription cough cold market as well as seven programmes in its NCE development pipeline. Vernalis has also significant expertise in fragment and structure based drug discovery which it leverages to enter into collaborations with larger pharmaceutical companies. The Company's technologies, capabilities and products have been endorsed over the last five years by collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies, including AKP, Biogen Idec, Endo, GSK, Genentech, Lundbeck, Menarini, Novartis, Servier and Tris.

For further information about Vernalis, please visit

Vernalis Forward-Looking Statement

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events including the clinical development and regulatory clearance of the Company's products, the Company's ability to find partners for the development and commercialisation of its products, as well as the Company's future capital raising activities. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Company's research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the uncertainties related to the regulatory process, the ability of the Company to identify and agree beneficial terms with suitable partners for the commercialisation and/or development of its products, as well as the achievement of expected synergies from such transactions, the acceptance of frovatriptan and other products by consumers and medical professionals, the successful integration of completed mergers and acquisitions and achievement of expected synergies from such transactions, and the ability of the Company to identify and consummate suitable strategic and business combination transactions.

Contact Information

  • Enquiries:

    Vernalis plc:
    +44 (0) 118 938 0015
    Ian Garland
    Chief Executive Officer
    David Mackney
    Chief Financial Officer

    Canaccord Genuity Limited (Nominated Adviser):
    +44 (0) 20 7523 8350
    Lucy Tilley
    Dr Julian Feneley
    Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor

    Shore Capital (Joint Broker):
    +44 (0)20 7408 4090
    Bidhi Bhoma
    Toby Gibbs

    Brunswick Group:
    +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
    Jon Coles