Verona Pharma has announced the appointments of Kathleen Rickard, MD, as chief medical officer to lead late stage clinical development of RPL554, and Tara Rheault, PhD, MPH, as vice president of Research and Development Operations and Global Project Management.

They will both be based in the company’s U.S. offices from where they will use their expertise to help drive global R&D activities.

Prior to joining Verona Pharma, Dr. Rickard served in multiple roles at Aerocrine AB and subsequently Circassia, where she was instrumental in directing clinical and regulatory strategies for NIOX VERO, an airway inflammation test for managing asthma, across key markets such as the United States, China, and Japan, as well as the rest of the world.

Dr. Rickard was previously vice president Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of GlaxoSmithKline’s Respiratory Medicines Development Centre and, over a period of 15 years, held a number of other leadership positions in clinical development across GlaxoSmithKline’s global respiratory franchise.

Jan-Anders Karlsson, PhD, CEO of Verona Pharma commented “We are delighted to welcome Drs. Rickard and Rheault to Verona Pharma and look forward to working with them to advance RPL554 into late stage clinical development.”

He continued, “Dr. Rickard’s extensive expertise in respiratory drug development combined with her strong leadership skills will be a tremendous asset as we prepare for the pivotal Phase 3 clinical development program for the maintenance treatment of COPD. Likewise, Dr. Rheault’s years of experience at the intersection of clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercialisation will help guide our global R&D and project management efforts.”