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Open Orphan (ORPH) Share Price Climb On £3m Imperial College London Contract

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Updated: 10 May 2021

Open Orphan (LON: ORPH) shares are climbing on Monday morning after the company announced it has signed a contract with Imperial College London.

The contract, which is worth £3 million, is part of a “Wellcome Trust funded initiative to manufacture a SARS-CoV-2 challenge virus.”

Under the agreement, Open Orphan's subsidiary, hVIVO, will develop a new SARS-CoV-2 challenge virus based on new emerging variants of the virus, which will be used in future hVIVO run human challenge trials to allow direct comparisons of vaccines or antivirals against different COVID-19 variants.


The manufacturing project will begin immediately and is expected to be completed before the end of this year. Once completed, there is a potential characterisation study for this virus to be conducted by hVIVO in partnership with Imperial and Wellcome.

Open Orphan has already worked in this area, developing the initial circulating COVID-19 virus as part of the Human Challenge Programme in partnership with the UK Government.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, commented: “This contract is a great example of how our unique abilities to provide an all-encompassing solution for human challenge trials sets us apart.

“We are able to support our customers from the very beginning of the process by developing challenge study models, including the manufacture of the challenge virus, as well as taking responsibility for full trial recruitment and using our London based quarantine facilities to run the human challenge studies themselves.”

Open Orphan's share price is currently trading at 38.25p, up 1.32% after initially jumping over 3.9% at the open.

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