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Open Orphan Shares Rallied 7.8% on £6.2M Contract. Is It a Buy?

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Updated 4 Aug 2022

Key points:

  • Open Orphan shares rallied 7.85 on a £6.2 million contract.
  • However, the shares later gave up most of their gains like in the past.
  • ORPH shares are down 56% this year despite multiple contracts.

The Open Orphan PLC (LON: ORPH) share price rallied 7.8% after its subsidiary hVIVO had won a £6.2m contract with a US biotech firm to test its antiviral drug candidate using hVIVO's influenza A human challenge study model.


Investors cheered today's announcement, but the rally higher was not as strong as it could be, given that Open Orphan shares could not break above the 11.05p resistance level and had given up some of their gains at writing.

Also read: Five Best Pharmaceutical Stocks To Watch In 2022.

The study will kick off later this year, with revenues recognised across the current fiscal year and in 2023. The client already has data on the drug's pharmacokinetics and safety profile, with the drug working via a novel mechanism from other licensed drugs.

Today's contract win is the third significant influenza human challenge trial agreement signed by Open Orphan this year, a clear sign of its rising dominance as a contract research organisation (CRO) specialising in human challenge trials.

Open Orphan noted that influenza is a significant global health threat affecting about 1 billion people annually. As a result, many biotech and pharma companies are working to develop new influenza drugs to prepare for future outbreaks of the disease.

Yamin ‘Mo' Khan, Open Orphan's CEO, said: “We are pleased to be working with this US-based client to test its exciting lead influenza antiviral using our Influenza human challenge study model. That the client has chosen us to run this study is testament to our position as the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease vaccines and antivirals using challenge studies. Furthermore, the contract underlines the increasing demand in the infectious disease clinical trial market, which is expected to grow to a value of over $5.5 billion by 2027.”

The company's speciality is respiratory viruses ranging from different influenza strains, human rhinovirus (HRV –  common cold virus), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), asthma, and malaria.

Open orphan shares are down 56% despite its recent contract wins, making them quite attractive. However, the shares have been unable to rally despite the contract wins. Still, the shares may be a good fit for long-term biotech investors.

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

Open orphan share price.

Open Orphan share price 04-08-2022
Source: IG

The Open Orphan share price edged 7.80% higher to trade at 11.05p, rising from Wednesday's closing price of 10.25p.