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Shares of Open Orphan PLC (LON: ORPH) had a muted reaction to the news that the company had opened two new sites to recruit COVID-19 challenge trial participants in London and Manchester.
The biotech company that runs human challenge trials has seen demand for its services rise, especially for COVID-19 challenge trials, necessitating opening the two new sites where volunteers can walk in for screening purposes.
The first new site is a repurposed former coffee shop at the street level of Queen Mary BioEnterprise Innovation Centre (QMB) in Whitechapel, East London, which houses hVIVO’s current 24-bedroom state-of-the-art quarantine clinic.
The clinic can accommodate up to 520 volunteer recruitment visit each week, while the smaller site in central Manchester allows for up to 100 volunteer visits weekly. Its capacity will be scaled up in future to handle for volunteers in the coming weeks.
Cathal Friel, Open Orphan’s executive chairman, said: “The current pandemic has forced many businesses to close and we are able to provide another use for these spaces not currently in use. These spaces presented an opportunity for us to open street-level volunteer recruitment centres quickly and efficiently.”
“The number of volunteers required by hVIVO is increasing rapidly in line with the number of studies the company is running, and these two additional centres will allow us to increase our capacity substantially in the year ahead.”
The Open Orphan share price.
Open Orphan shares dropped 1.23% to trade at 24p having fallen from Tuesday’s closing price of 24.3p.
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