Open Orphan CEO delighted with £8.1m contract win

Cathal Friel

Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH) today announced a £8.1m Asthma Human Challenge Study Contract Win, we caught up with CEO Cathal Friel for a few comments, who told us:

We are delighted to announce we have signed an £8.1m contract with a major global pharmaceutical company to test its inhaled human rhinovirus (hRV) antiviral product using the hVIVO Asthma Human Challenge Study Model. These are very exciting times for Open Orphan as we are one of the few companies that are ideally positioned to help both big pharma and small pharma to test their huge new pipelines of infectious disease products that they are developing. The COVID-19 pandemic caused in excess of $17 trillion worth of economic damage around the world which is equal to 90% of US annual GDP. The pandemic has highlighted that for the past 30 years there has been very little investment into the infectious disease and respiratory products space. As such, when the pandemic arrived the world discovered that the medicine cabinet of infectious disease products to deal with COVID-19 was virtually empty.

Post pandemic, most governments across the world, all of the Big Pharma companies and many of the smaller pharma companies are now investing hugely in new infectious and respiratory disease products and as such, this market is expected to grow from £$20bn in 2019 to $250bn by 2025. This restocking of the pharmaceutical industries medicine cabinet of infectious disease products around the world is now leading to an enormous expansion of investment into the infectious disease and respiratory product market and will be seen as one of the biggest growth opportunities in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.

Open Orphan plc (London and Euronext: ORPH) is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical service/contract research company that is a world leader in testing vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials. The company provides services to Big Pharma, biotech and government/public health organisations.

The company runs challenge studies in London from both its 19-bedroom Whitechapel quarantine clinic, opened in February 2021, and its 24-bedroom QMB clinic with its highly specialised on-site virology and immunology laboratory. Open Orphan has a leading portfolio of human challenge study models for infectious and respiratory diseases and is developing a number of other models including the world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study model as part of the Human Challenge Programme.

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Building upon its many years of challenge studies and virology research, the Company is developing an in-depth database of infectious disease progression data. Based on the Company’s Disease in Motion® platform, this unique dataset includes clinical, immunological, virological and digital (wearable) biomarkers. The Disease in Motion platform has many potential applications across a wide variety of end users including big technology, wearables, pharma and biotech companies. Following COVID-19 there is now a renewed interest and investment in infectious diseases.

Open Orphan’s Paris office has been providing biometry, data management and statistics to its many European pharmaceutical clients for over 20 years. For over 15 years, the Company’s Netherlands office has been providing drug development consultancy and services, including CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), PK and medical writing, to a broad range of European clients. Both offices are now also fully integrated with the London office and working on challenge study contracts as well as supporting third party trial contracts.

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