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Open Orphan to start first-ever coronavirus challenge trial

Snapshot

  • Will run the world's first Covid-19 challenge trial
  • Testing Covid-19 vaccine while new contracts are underway
  • Merger with hVIVO completed in January 2020 to create European full pharma services company
Open Orphan

Quick facts: Open Orphan PLC

Price: 28.5 GBX

AIM:ORPH
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £190.78 m
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What it does

Open Orphan Plc (LON:ORPH) was established in 2017 to build a platform that helps pharma companies commercialise their products in Europe, with a specific focus on drugs that treat rare diseases.

Since then, it has built a database of all the firms with orphan drugs that have either been approved or are currently going through the clinic.

Open Orphan has also put together a 4,000-strong directory of physicians and key opinion leaders with expertise in marketing and selling orphan drugs.

Normally, drug developers would have to pay a handsome fee to a third-party to help find those experts, but Open Orphan intends to undercut the market with a cheaper annual subscription which gives the drug companies access to the platform.

In January, Open Orphan merged with challenge trial specialist hVIVO PLC (LON:HVO), whose shareholders ended up owning around 44.7% of the combined entity.

 

How it is doing

In February, Open Orphan was given the go-ahead to begin the world’s first COVID-19 challenge study following the award of a UK government contract.

Up to 90 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 years old will receive the virus in a safe and controlled environment to enable identification of the most appropriate dose of the virus needed to cause COVID-19 infection

The study will help set international standards for challenge agent manufacture and storage, building on the current World Health Organisation guidelines.

 

What the boss says: Cathal Friel, executive chairman

Cathal Friel talks to Proactive London's Katie Pilbeam about the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study receiving approval from a specially convened Research Ethics Committee (REC). 

This follows a contract received by the company’s subsidiary hVIVO from the UK government to develop a COVID-19 human challenge study model.

Friel explains that the vaccines industry has been the 'cinderella' of the sector for so many years, but is now growing fast.

 

What the analyst says

 

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Open Orphan to become '$1bln firm in very near future' after COVID-19 study...

Open Orphan PLC's (LON:ORPH) Cathal Friel talks to Proactive London's Katie Pilbeam about the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study receiving approval from a specially convened Research Ethics Committee (REC).  This follows a contract received by the company’s subsidiary hVIVO...

2 weeks, 3 days ago

2 min read