Open Orphan PLC

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Market Cap:
£168.35 m
25.20 GBX
52 weeks high
52 weeks low

Market opportunity

The orphan drug sector is booming and is expected to grow 2x faster than the non-orphan prescription drug sector. Therefore, Open Orphan will capitalise upon this underlying growth as we rapidly build a full-service leading European rare/orphan focused pharma services company.

Sources for infographic

(1) Everest Group Research: Healthcare Consulting
(2) Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases – Giannuzzi et al. 2017
(3) Company Data
(4) Evaluate Pharma: Orphan Drug Report 2018
(5) Nature Reviews - Drug Discovery - 2018 FDA drug approvals

Venn Life Sciences

Venn Life Sciences is an Integrated Drug Development Partner offering a unique combination of drug development expertise and clinical trial design and management to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device organisations. This enables us to create, plan and execute drug and medical device development programs effectively and seamlessly for our clients.

Visit the Venn Life Sciences website

Open Orphan

Each division of Open Orphan offers a unique service, enabling us to work towards our goal of becoming the leading full-service rare / orphan focused pharma services company in Europe.

The Open Orphan business model consists of:

Open Orphan Services

We are developing our European rare / orphan pharma services business by consolidating a number of smaller services companies in this highly fragmented but high margin sector. These companies are primarily operating in our initial core areas of regulatory, reimbursement, product launch and communications.

We have developed a strong pipeline of potential acquisitions and are in advanced discussions with a large number of these. Post IPO, we aim to offer a complete platform of services in Europe primarily in the areas of regulatory approval, reimbursement, product launch and communications.

The orphan drug consulting space in Europe is highly fragmented and consists of many small players scattered across Europe. It is Open Orphan’s plan to acquire a number of these smaller players, consolidating them into the leading orphan drug consultancy services company in Europe.


Open Orphan Virtual Rep

Open Orphan Virtual Rep aims to challenge the traditional pharmaceutical commercialisation model by efficiently enabling pharmaceutical companies to engage key opinion leaders (KOLs) and physicians using our lower cost, remote engagement Virtual Rep Platform which is uniquely suited to the rare / orphan disease space.

We have compiled a database for the purpose of offering clients our Virtual Rep services where we promote their product to the over 4,000 KOLs and physicians in our database who prescribe rare / orphan drugs across Europe.

How Open Orphan’s Virtual Rep Platform Will Work

Open Orphan’s Virtual Reps will specialize in the promotion of rare / orphan products and will promote them directly to the prescribing physicians and KOLs on a regular basis through the medium of emails, phone, webinars & traditional mailing of information packages.

  • Open Orphan Virtual Rep can be implemented at any stage of the lifecycle of a rare/orphan drug product post regulatory approval; it can be used as a tool to support the launch of a new product, through to promoting mature brands without incurring the expense of additional field representatives.
  • The service is well suited to the rare disease sector and can be used as a tool to support the launch of a new product, efficiently complementing existing field reps, through to promoting mature brands without incurring the expense of additional field reps.

Open Orphan Genomic Health Data

Open Orphan is building the first European people-powered health data collection platform which will allow us to quickly become one of the leading brokers of rare disease patient data.



Established in 1989 as a spin out from Queen Mary University, London, hVIVO is a trusted partner and industry-leading clinical development services business pioneering human disease models based upon viral challenge. Using human challenge studies to establish early proof-of-concept, hVIVO’s clinical trial platform can accelerate drug and vaccine development in respiratory and infectious disease.

hVIVO conducts studies and provides services for customers, both pharmaceutical and biotech companies, utilising a range of different client trial and laboratory methodologies across differing viral challenges. Experience and know-how from over 50 challenge studies is applied to ensure effective study design and excellent service delivery for customers.

Visit the hVIVO website



Ireland, England, Netherlands & France

Cathal Friel
Executive Chairman

Cathal was co – founder and original board member of Amryt Pharma Plc, a leading European orphan drug company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Established Raglan Capital in 2007 and helped establish Open Orphan in 2016. Founder and Chairman of Fastnet Oil & Gas plc which listed in 2012 and raised $50m in equity on the AIM market. Co-founder and Director of Merrion Stockbrokers in 2000 which was successfully sold for €80m in 2006.


Leo Toole
Chief Financial Officer

Leo Toole brings over 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles in Pharmaceuticals, Medical Technology and FMCG sectors. He has held senior finance positions at Procter and Gamble, ResMed and Sublimity Therapeutics. Through positions in multinational companies across Europe and in the venture capital space in the UK and Ireland, he has extensive experience in building finance teams, corporate development, equity and debt financing, public markets, and mergers and acquisitions. Leo is a Business graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and HEC Liège, Belgium. He also holds an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD in France and Singapore.

Michael Meade
Non-Executive Director

Michael Meade holds a degree in Law from Trinity College, Dublin. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Ireland with KMG Reynolds McCarren prior to working with Arthur Andersen in London. He has spent the last 30 years working in investment banking in London with respectively HSBC Investment Bank, UBS Investment Bank and Numis Securities where he spent the last thirteen years. During his career he has specialised in advising small and mid-cap quoted companies with a particular focus on those in the healthcare sector. His experience extends across all forms of capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and general strategy.


Mark Warne
Non-Executive Director

Mark previously spent almost 10 years at IP Group Plc, an intellectual property commercialisation company, where he led the Healthcare team. He managed a portfolio of £330m of net assets in 2016/2017 and represented IP Group on the boards of both listed and private companies. In 2018, concurrent with the integration of Touchstone Innovations into IP Group, Mark became a Partner in the Life Sciences division. He joined IP Group from pre-clinical drug discovery CRO, Exelgen, where he was Managing Director. Mark spent eight years at Exelgen (formerly Tripos Discovery Research) where he also held positions in licensing and strategic affairs, project management and research. He has a PhD in Computational Chemistry, an MSc in Colloid Science and a BSc in Chemistry, all from the University of Bristol. Mark is a Chartered Chemist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Mark was appointed Chief Executive Officer of DeepMatter Group plc in July 2018, having joined DeepMatter as a Non-Executive Director in September 2015 and also served as its Executive Chairman between April 2017 and July 2018. He also serves as a non-executive director on the board of Ixico plc.


Professor Brendan Buckley
Non-Executive Director

Brendan was Chief Medical Officer of ICON plc until 2017, prior to which he co-founded Firecrest Clinical, a company which focused on improving the performance of clinical trial sites and in turn sold it ICON in 2011. While in ICON Brendan served as a member of ICON plc’s Executive Leadership Team and was actively involved in M&A targeting, assessment and diligence. A medical graduate of University College Cork (UCC) and a doctoral graduate in Biochemistry of Oxford University, Brendan has over 30 years’ experience in clinical research. He was a Director of the Health Products Regulatory Authority of Ireland between 2004 and 2011 and was a member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) from 2000-2003.

Contact us

18 Fitzwilliam Place,
Dublin 2,
D02 HH29
Tel: +353 (01) 6440007

General enquires:
[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

For more information on our key dates, please follow the link below:



Arden Partners (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7614 5900
John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Ruari McGirr / Benjamin Cryer

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +353 (0)1 679 6363
Anthony Farrell (Corporate Finance)

finnCap plc (Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 500
Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers 

Jeffreys Henry LLP (Auditors and Reporting Accountants) Tel: + 44 (0) 20 3872 2953


Click here for info on shareholders.

Arden Partners (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7614 5900
John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Ruari McGirr / Benjamin Cryer

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +353 (0)1 679 6363
Anthony Farrell (Corporate Finance)

Camarco (Financial PR) Tel: +44 (0)20 3757 4980
Tom Huddart / Billy Clegg / Daniel Sherwen / Hugo Liddy