Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH) CEO Cathal Friel joined DirectorsTalk Managing Director Darren Turgel to discuss progress on a number of fronts.
Q. Great to see today you increased your holdings in Open Orphan?
A. I am delighted to have now had the opportunity to increase my personal stake in Open Orphan plc by today purchasing £300,000 worth of additional shares i.e. two times my annual salary. I am equally pleased that Brendan is joining me in doing likewise. These share purchases further demonstrates my and the Board’s commitment to the Company, and reiterates my confidence in Open Orphan’s future prospects as we enter a period where the infectious disease market is rapidly expanding and expected to grow to in excess of $250bn per annum by 2025.
Q. How is the pipeline for new contract wins looking?
A. We continue to roll out new contract wins and having signed and announced this week and last week, two significant challenge study contract wins for our London office and earlier today a €900k contract win for our Breda, Netherlands office.
Q. How are you looking on the financial side, are you still on target?
A. In the past week I was also delighted to confirm that we were solidly EBITDA profitable in H1 2021 and remain on target for a profitable and successful 2021.
Q. Previously you talked about spinning off non-core assets, how are you progressing?
A. Likewise, earlier today Poolbeg Pharma plc filed its Schedule One confirming that it had successfully raised £25m in fresh funds on a pre-money valuation of £25m, thus when it completes its IPO in the coming week it should be listing with a market cap of c. £50m. This is an excellent start to our strategy of spinning off and monetizing our non-core assets. We plan and expect to spin off the other three non-core assets between now and year end; namely our 49% stake in Imutex, our 62.6% stake in PrEP Biopharm and Disease in Motion platform business. Thus, we have a very exciting year ahead for Open Orphan.