Open Orphan PLC (ORPH.L) Major New Contract Signed

Open Orphan plc (ORPH) a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, is pleased to announce that it has signed a major contract with a leading vaccine developer and one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The contract with Venn Life Sciences, which is part of Open Orphan, builds on earlier successful contracts between the companies and is to obtain and support market access of newly developed vaccines into the EU and US markets until the end of 2020.

The contact demonstrates Venn Life Sciences’ ability to service leading vaccine developers which in turn benefits hVIVO, also part of Open Orphan, as cross-selling opportunities arise. The contract demonstrates Venn Life Sciences’ unique combination of drug development expertise, clinical trial design and execution services.

This fits with Open Orphan’s strategic aim of becoming a leading pharma services provider globally with particular expertise across the Company in providing services to the rapidly growing vaccines industry.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, commented:

“We are delighted to have signed this contract with a leading vaccine developer and one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. This contract reinforces Open Orphan’s position as one of the leading service providers to the vaccine industry globally. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the vaccine industry is now an increasingly important and rapidly growing sector with many large pharmaceutical companies now directing huge amounts of resources towards their vaccine divisions to progress both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 vaccines. Open Orphan is ideally positioned to capitalise upon this trend as we build the Company into a growing, profitable pharmaceutical services business.”

Notes to Editors – Open Orphan:

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. Conducted from Europe’s only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology providing individually isolated rooms and connected to our specialist laboratory facility. Which offers highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development. Reliable laboratory analysis underpinned by scientific expertise is essential when processing and analysing clinical samples. Robust quality processes support our team of scientists in the delivery of submission ready data.

The Company has a leading portfolio of 8 viral challenge study models which are: 2 FLU, 2 RSV, 1 HRV, 1 Asthma, 1 cough and 1 COPD viral challenge models. As announced in early March, Open Orphan is rapidly advancing a number of Coronavirus challenge study models and expects to be helping many COVID-19 vaccine development companies to test their vaccines. No other company in the world has such a portfolio, with only two competitors globally having 1 challenge study model each.

Open Orphan comprises of two commercial specialist CRO services businesses ( hVIVO and Venn ) and is developing an early stage orphan drug genomics data platform business. This platform captures valuable genetic data from patient populations with specific diseases with designated orphan drug status and incorporating AI tools. In June 2019, Open Orphan acquired AIM-listed Venn Life Sciences Holdings plc in a reverse take-over and in January 2020 it completed the merger with hVIVO plc. Venn, as an integrated drug development consultancy, offers CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), preclinical, Phase I & II clinical trials design and execution. The merger with hVIVO created a European full pharma services company broadening the Company’s customer base and with complementary specialist CRO services, widened the range of the Company’s service offerings.


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