1 August 2012


Vernalis plc, a revenue generating development stage pharmaceutical company today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2012.



  • Strong financial performance, in-line with expectations:
    • Revenue up 36% to £5.9 million (2011: £4.3 million) driven by a significant increase in collaboration income
    • Cost base remains in line with H1 2011
    • Loss for the period halved to £3.2 million (2011: £7.0 million)
  • Strong balance sheet with £84.5 million cash resources (including cash, cash equivalents and held-to-maturity financial assets) at 30 June 2012 and debt free:
    • £65.9 million (net of expenses) over-subscribed equity fundraising (March 2012) from new and existing shareholders
    • Underlying cash burn increased to £2.6 million (2011 £1.7 million), primarily due to increased frovatriptan royalty income receivables which will unwind in the second half of the year
  • Shares admitted to trading on AIM (April 2012)

US cough/cold strategy:

  • Licensing deal with Tris Pharma, Inc. (Tris) with Vernalis gaining exclusive rights to Tris’ extended release liquid technology for use in the US prescription cough/cold market (February 2012)
  • Development work initiated (April 2012) and progressing well on three of the combination products
  • Feasibility work underway at Tris on a further three combination products
  • US cough/cold pre-marketing activities initiated and planning underway to establish US commercial infrastructure


  • H1 2012 Menarini frovatriptan sales in-line with same period 2011 (€13.3 million vs €13.5 million)
    • Underlying tablet volumes up by 2.1%



  • Continues in multiple Phase Ib and II studies
  • Proof-of-concept (POC) declared by Novartis (December 2011)
  • Abstracts presented at ASCO (June 2012)

 Tosedostat (CHR2797):

  • Phase II study initiated by Cell Therapeutics Inc for elderly patients with newly-diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia ("AML") or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome ("MDS") (June 2012)


  • Novartis has stopped further development of the oral Hsp90 inhibitor, due to its failure to achieve clinically-meaningful responses at Maximum Tolerated Dose.  HSP990 is from a chemical series unrelated to AUY922 and is oral rather than intravenous.


  • Successful outcome of  Phase I SAD and MAD study announced (May 2012)
  • Receptor occupancy study to start in Q3 2012


  • Discussions with multiple potential partners validate initiation of a proof-of-concept study in spinal cord injury neuropathic pain
  • Results of Phase I study to be presented at the World Congress on Pain meeting in August 2012


  • Anti-inflammatory study initiated (July 2012)


  • Drug discovery collaboration signed with Genentech (Jan 2012)
  • Third oncology collaboration signed with Servier (Jan 2012)
  • Milestone achieved in Servier collaboration (April 2012)
  • GSK collaboration now completed (June 2012)

Anticipated Newsflow

  • Progression of cough/cold pipeline through POC and to NDA filings (2013)
  • V158866 (FAAH - pain): Initiate Phase II POC studies (IND filing by end of 2012)
  • V81444 (A2A - Central Nervous System Diseases): Initiate Receptor Occupancy Study (2012)
  • V158411 (Chk1 - cancer): Possible partnering and initiate Phase I (2013)
  • RPL554 (Asthma/Allergic Rhinitis) (Verona): Results of anti-inflammatory study (Expected to complete end 2012)
  • Tosedostat (aminopeptidase inhibitor - cancer) (Chroma): Results of Phase II study  (timing not disclosed)
  • AUY922 (Hsp90 - cancer) (Novartis): Multiple Phase I and Phase II study results (timing  not disclosed)
  • Milestones under existing collaborations (undisclosed)
  • Securing new research collaborations (undisclosed)

Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We had a very successful start to the first half of 2012, with the previously announced exclusive Tris licensing deal and associated fundraising. Since then Tris has initiated development work and the first three programmes are advancing well. We have progressed well in research where we secured further new collaborations and achieved an increase in revenues. The outlook for the remainder of 2012 and beyond is positive, underpinned by our Tris collaboration, strong balance sheet, royalty stream, NCE pipeline and research platform.”

Presentation & Conference Call

Vernalis management will host a webcast and conference call for analysts and investors at 09.30 am (UK) today. It will be available at http://www.vernalis.com/investor-centre/presentations-and-webcasts and www.cantos.com and via conference call, which can be joined by dialling + 44 (0)20 3140 0668.


-- ends --



Vernalis Contacts:


Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer 

+44 (0) 118 938 0015

David Mackney, Chief Financial Officer



Nomura Code Securities Limited:

+44 (0) 20 7776 1200

Juliet Thompson



Jonathan Senior


Brunswick Group: Jon Coles


+44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Taylor Rafferty: Rob Newman


+44 (0) 20 7614 2900

Notes to Editors 

About Vernalis

Vernalis is a revenue generating development stage pharmaceutical company with one marketed product, frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine and 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 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 are endorsed by collaborations with Endo, Genentech, Lundbeck, Menarini, Novartis, Servier and Tris.

Please click here to access the full PDF version of this press release

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.