CST: 29/05/2016 04:34:55   

Vernalis Announces Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as Its Worldwide Licensee for Their Adenosine Antagonist Program

143 Days ago

Adenosine Antagonists Under Development for Use in Immuno-Oncology

WINNERSH, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jan 6, 2016) - Vernalis plc (LSE: VER) ("Vernalis" or the "Company") today announces Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Corvus") as its licensee for their adenosine antagonist program.

In February 2015, the Company licensed exclusive, worldwide rights in its adenosine receptor antagonist programme for use in all therapeutic applications to Corvus, a U.S.-based biotechnology company. At the time the name of the company was not disclosed and nor was the initial therapeutic focus.

Corvus was launched through a $33.5 million Series A fundraising in 2014 by the founder and former senior management at Pharmacyclics Inc. and it raised a further $75m (Series B) in September 2015.

The lead molecule, CPI-444 is a patented small molecule that has been evaluated in Phase I and II clinical trials under an IND in the U.S. Corvus brings a wealth of clinical and commercial expertise and experience and is looking to develop CPI-444 for immuno-oncology, with clinical studies expected in 2016.

Ian Garland, CEO of Vernalis commented "We are pleased to make public that Corvus is our licensee and we are excited about the development of CPI-444 in an immuno-oncology setting."

Notes to Editors

About Vernalis
Vernalis is a revenue generating, commercial stage pharmaceutical company with significant expertise in drug development. The Group has three approved products: Tuzistra™ XR targeting the U.S. prescription cough cold market; MOXATAG®, a once-a-day formulation of the antibiotic, amoxicillin, indicated for the treatment of tonsillitis and/or pharyngitis secondary to Streptococcus pyogenes; and frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine. It has an exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialise multiple novel products focussed on the U.S. prescription cough cold market as well as eight 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 Taisho and Tris.

For further information about Vernalis, please visit www.vernalis.com.

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.

About Corvus
Corvus Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of small molecule and antibody agents that target the immune system to treat patients with cancer. These agents block or modify crucial immune checkpoints and reprogram immune T cells.

For more information, visit www.corvuspharma.com.

Enquiries:

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

Canaccord Genuity Limited (Nominated Adviser):
Dr Julian Feneley
Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor
Emma Gabriel
+44 (0) 20 7523 8000

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

FTI Consulting:
Ben Atwell
Simon Conway
Stephanie Cuthbert
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000