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Open Orphan (ORPH) Shares Barely Moved Despite Launching a Malaria Challenge Trial

Simon Mugo trader
Updated 20 Jan 2022

Key points:

  • Open Orphan shares barely moved despite launching a malaria challenge trial.
  • Investors ignored the important announcement that could generate significant revenues.
  • Open Orphan shares have fallen 14.9% since the year started. What’s next?

The Open Orphan PLC (LON: ORPH) share price barely moved despite launching the first controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) challenge study.

The company noted that its subsidiary hVIVO had injected the first group of volunteers with a malaria challenge agent manufactured in a GMP-complaint facility.

The firm expects to complete the challenge trial in Q1 2022 and release the results in Q2 2022. hVIVO used FluCamp, its clinical recruitment unit, to identify and screen the participants in the trial.

Also Read: Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy Right Now.

The company continues to refine its strategies and intends to sign more malaria challenge studies once it completes the current challenge.

Malaria is a constantly-evolving disease that requires novel medications and vaccines, which pharmaceutical companies are developing.

hVIVO told investors that its Direct Venous Inoculation (“DVI”) clinical trial protocol had received approval from all the relevant UK health regulators before the company started the malaria challenge trial.

Investors ignored the significance of today’s announcement. The successful completion of the malaria challenge trail could unlock an entirely new revenue stream from other companies developing malaria treatments and vaccines.

Adrian Wildfire, hVIVO’s Director of Scientific & Business Strategy, said: “Malaria is a disease of significant unmet need around the world, with 241 million cases and 627,000 deaths caused in 2020. Its prevention and cure is a designated World Health Organization target. As such, we are pleased to have commenced this study to allow our clinical teams to better acquaint themselves with the recently established Controlled Human Malaria Infection model, ahead of using human challenge studies to test our clients’ malaria products. Data resulting from such studies translates well into the field, and malaria human challenge studies have been pivotal to the development of many of the novel drugs now entering late-phase trials.”

Cathal Friel, Open Orphan’s Executive Chairman, said: “We are delighted to have inoculated the first cohort of volunteers for the Malaria study at our QMB facility in London. hVIVO is fully committed to growing the malaria model’s capabilities and capacity over the coming years to meet the challenge of accelerating the introduction of novel, safe and effective drugs and vaccines to the market.”

I expected a better reaction from investors to today’s announcement, but the markets thought otherwise. Open Orphan shares have fallen 14.94% since the year started, and many hope that the stock will stage a comeback and rally higher.

Open Orphan shares barely moved after announcing its latest Malaria challenge trial.

*This is not investment advice. Always do your due diligence before making investment decisions.

Simon has over six years of professional trading experience across FX, commodities and equities. He has a strong passion for financial markets and is particularly focused on price action trading