Open Orphan to start first-ever coronavirus challenge trial
- Open Orphan wins £5.7mln flu trial contract, revenues soar
- Open Orphan moves forward with government-backed COVID-19 vaccine human challenge study
- Open Orphan reveal 'very good first half, firmly profitable, cash in bank and record revenues!'
Quick facts: Open Orphan PLC
Price: 25 GBX
Market Cap: £167.71 m
About the company
Open Orphan is a rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services company which is a world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals through the use of human challenge clinical trials.
Open Orphan comprises of two commercial specialist CRO services businesses; hVIVO and Venn Life Sciences and has offices in London, Dublin, Paris, and the Netherlands.
How it is doing
The in-human study is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022 and will be conducted at subsidiary hVIVO's state-of-the-art facilities in London.
The company expects the revenue from the contract to be recognised across 2021 and 2022 and form part of the huge jump in income expected this year and next as demand for challenge trials soars.
“Post-pandemic, the infectious and respiratory disease market is seeing exponential growth, with an expected global market value of US$250bn by 2025," the company said in a statement with its half-year results today.
Data released by Barvarian Nordic (OMX:BAVA) showed a significant reduction in viral load in those people vaccinated with its treatment.
Open Orphan PLC (AIM:ORPH, FRA:CRO) said its hVIVO arm has won an £8.1mln contract with an unnamed ‘major global pharmaceutical company’ to test an antiviral product using its asthma human challenge study model.
It will use as the challenge agent the human rhinovirus, the most prevalent cause of the common cold, which can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, a condition suffered by 5.4mln people in the UK.
Insight: Open Orphan moves forward with government-backed COVID-19 vaccine human...
What management says
Open Orphan PLC (AIM:ORPH, FRA:CRO)'s (LON:ORPH) Cathal Friel talks to Proactive London about their year-on-year revenue growth and profitable first half following a 'year of turnaround and transition in 2020'.
As Friel explains, these results show a continued pattern of profitability from Q4 2020 to a firmly profitable position delivering a positive EBITDA profit of £2.1 million compared to an EBITDA loss of £4.1 million in H1 2020.
The company has also announced their subsidiary Hvivo has signed a £5.7 million contract with a specialist biotechnology company developing therapeutics for respiratory viral infections.
ORPH has firmly established its core pharma services offering, underpinned by the world-leading quarantine facilities, unique challenge study models and its established clinical trial services. ORPH is focusing on converting an extensive and substantial amount of non-Covid-19 related services worth over £100mln. This is in addition to substantial contracts already signed with the UK Government for COVID-19 vaccine challenge studies, pending finalisation of the characterisation study anticipated imminently. Furthermore, after extensive integration and restructuring in the past 18 months the company was finally profitable in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 and continues during 2021 to perform very strongly according to plans. The company is also advancing its strategy of maximising the value of its non-core intellectual property (IP) assets to return value to existing shareholders. ORPH has received legal approval for a capital reduction relating to the current or future demerger of its non-core assets via spin-off into separately listed companies, to grant new share allotments or dividends, potentially crystallising the value of these assets.
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