Verona Pharma has announced the strengthening of its clinical team ahead of the Phase III development of Ensifentrine (formerly RPL554) for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nina Church joins as executive director of global clinical development and Nancy Herje as senior director of clinical operations. They strengthen Verona Pharma’s clinical team led by Kathleen Rickard, chief medical officer, and will be based in the Company’s US office.

Ms Church brings 30 years of experience of late-stage clinical drug development in respiratory therapeutics, with 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline where she held a series of management positions, including director, global operations COPD. At GlaxoSmithKline, Ms Church was involved in the development of many respiratory therapeutics including Advair, Anoro, Flovent, Serevent and Ventolin. She joins from Parion Sciences where she was executive director of clinical operations.

Ms Herje has more than 25 years of experience in designing, planning and executing clinical programs for pharmaceutical and medical device companies including trials for the COPD therapeutic Flovent. Prior to joining Verona Pharma, Nancy was a senior clinical scientist at ExecuPharm and previously held roles at Chimerix, Aerocrine, Inspire and GlaxoSmithKline.