Verona Pharma (LON:VRP) has begun a new clinical trial to evaluate higher dosing of its key asthma drug, RPL554.
The trial will help Verona set the dosage for a subsequent trial, which will test the drug's effectiveness over a period of days.
The second trial will also assess the anti-inflammatory effect of the drug.
"We are delighted that this trial to further clarify the therapeutic usefulness of RPL554 is underway,” chief executive Professor Michael Walker said.
“We believe that, combined with the second trial, we will demonstrate the safety of RPL554 at higher doses as well as its significant potential as a bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory drug,
“The trials are expected to add value and satisfy questions raised by potential development partners in the company's licensing discussions which are ongoing."
The first patient in the trial has now been treated at the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) in Leiden, The Netherlands.
The asthma drug is designed to inhibit two enzymes that are known to effect the development and progression of inflammatory respiratory diseases.
Verona highlighted that a previous Phase I/IIa trial demonstrated safety and effective bronchodilation, using lower doses.