DUBLIN Biotech investors shrugged off short-term fears about any potential fallout from Thursday's looming vote on Britain's continued membership of the EU, pumping more than $125 million into two U.K. firms, Verona Pharma plc and F2G Ltd., which will enable them to move their respective drug candidates into a phase IIb trial in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a registration study in invasive aspergillosis.
Cardiff-based Verona is raising £44.7 million (US$65.6 million) on the back of recent phase IIa data, which showed that RPL554, a dual inhibitor of dual phosphodiesterase3 (PDE3) and PDE4, had marked bronchodilatory effects when added on top of existing therapies. (See BioWorld Today, May, 2016.)
Manchester-based F2G raised $60 million in a private equity round to take forward its first-in-class antifungal F901318, which has benefitted from its inclusion in the EMA's adaptive pathways scheme. "We were