19 January 2005 Vernalis Plc: Anti-Inflammatory Compound Partnered with Serono Starts Clinical Trials Vernalis plc (LSE:VER, Nasdaq: VNLS), today announced that its partner Serono (virt-x: SEO and NYSE: SRA) has started a phase I clinical trial of a selective inhibitor of MMP-12 (matrix metalloprotease inhibitor-12). This is the first compound to enter the clinic resulting from the research collaboration between Vernalis and Serono that was established to find potential treatments for inflammatory diseases. Under the terms of the agreement Vernalis will receive an undisclosed milestone payment.
The phase I trial will be performed in healthy volunteers. Its primary objectives are to elucidate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic properties of the compound. Serono will conduct and fund all development activities associated with the programme.
Simon Sturge, chief executive officer of Vernalis said, "We are delighted that our partner Serono has progressed this compound into phase I trials, which endorses Vernalis' scientific expertise and further expands the Company's portfolio of products in the clinic."
Interestingly enough in the 'grey matter' thread we came to the conclusion that targeting the MMPs was a potential treatment stategy.
Maybe we aint so dumb after all...