Verona Pharma has begun a Phase II trial of RPL554, a drug candidate designed to inhibit the enzymes phosphodiesterase 3 and 4 (PDE3/PDE4) reports Cystic Fibrosis News Today. 

Previous studies showed that RPL554 stimulated the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, or CFTR. Mutations of the protein render ion channels in the protective epithelial cells of the lungs dysfunctional, leading to CF.

RPL554 also reduced phlegm in the airways, reduced airway obstruction, and inhibited inflammation, prior studies showed.

Another clinical trial showed that RPL554 improved lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), compared with those who took a placebo. The same trial showed that RPL554 improved lung function when added to two bronchodilators.

In addition, RPL554 was found to have anti-inflammatory effects in a study of people with COPD-like inflammation.

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