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Open Orphan Rises As hVIVO Signs New £5m Human Challenge Study Contract

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Updated: 21 Dec 2021
  • Open Orphan's subsidiary, hVIVO wins £5m human challenge study contract
  • The study will begin in H2 2022 assessing an antiviral drug
  • Open Orphan shares rise 2.5%

Open Orphan (LON: ORPH), the contract research organisation and vaccine and antiviral testing company, has seen its shares rise in early Tuesday trading.

The share price increase results from the announcement that its subsidiary, hVIVO, has signed a £5m influenza human challenge study contract with a biotech company developing an antiviral drug for protection against respiratory viral infections.

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Open Orphan shares currently trade at 2.87p, up 2.5%. However, 2021 hasn't been kind to investors in the company with its stock falling over 73% for the year to date, despite its various contract wins. 

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“We are delighted to be working with this biotech client to assess the efficacy of their antiviral product which has the potential to be an important treatment against respiratory viral infections, using the hVIVO Influenza human challenge study model,” said Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan.

The study is expected to begin in the second half of 2022 at hVIVO's facilities in London and will assess the efficacy of a single dosing regimen of the client's antiviral drug.  

The AIM-listed company expects the majority of revenues to be recognised in 2022.

Friel added that the company has now signed contracts for 95% of its 2022 forecasted revenues, with this being the fourth Influenza human challenge study signed in 2021. Earlier this month hVIVO, signed a $13.4 million contract with a US-based biotechnology firm. 

“Coupled with the contract wins that we have seen in other disease areas, this further underlines the growing interest in respiratory and infectious diseases within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, which we expect to continue over the coming years,” stated Friel.

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