Open Orphan expands volunteer recruitment centres for human challenge trials

Open Orphan

Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist pharmaceutical services clinical research organisation (CRO) and the world leader in vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge clinical trials, has opened two new volunteer recruitment centres to screen potential trial volunteers, the first in East London and a second in central Manchester. These new locations are part of the Company’s expansion of its human challenge study trials launching in 2021.

The first new site is a repurposed former coffee shop at the street level of Queen Mary BioEnterprise Innovation Centre (“QMB”), which houses hVIVO’s current 24-bedroom state-of-the-art quarantine clinic in Whitechapel, East London. This is the first time a branded volunteer recruitment centre  has been situated at street level whereby volunteers can walk straight in for screening. The large, multi-use space has the capacity to provide substantially more volunteer medical screening and processing with dedicated private physical exam and consenting rooms, ample hot-desking space and a refreshment area, as well as a dedicated reception area. Importantly, this means the facility can now offer 520 volunteer recruitment visit slots per week, with the intention that this will increase over time. This new centre has processed its first volunteers in recent weeks. Learn more about the screening process at

The Company has opened another similar volunteer recruitment facility in central Manchester, broadening its reach and reducing travel time required by potential volunteers to attend the initial visit at our London clinic. It will have an initial capacity for more than 100 visits per week, but this will increase substantially in the weeks that follow. The clinic is due to process its first volunteers on 27 January.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan plc commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to get access to these new volunteer recruitment screening centres and to have them fully operational so quickly. 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. Given our extensive pipeline of upcoming contracted studies, we are also continuing to explore additional quarantine facilities.  

We are proud of our hard working and dedicated team for transforming both of these sites in record time into volunteer recruitment screening centres where we can efficiently process more volunteers than ever before.”

Cathal went on to tell DirectorsTalk Interviews,

“We are off to a fighting start in 2021 with today’s announcement that we are adding two new volunteer recruitment screening centres for our human challenge trials. The current pandemic has forced many businesses to close and we are delighted to provide another use for these spaces through opening both of these volunteer recruitment centres.  

Adding both volunteer recruitment centres is also a key part in us scaling up to deliver our contracted work in 2021 which is sure to be a record year of both revenues and profits for the company. These new volunteer recruitment centres are extremely cost effective and will crucially also enable us to have the scale to run a third quarantine facility which will allow further upside in revenues. On that note, the company continues to examine additional quarantine facilities options as the company’s existing 24 bed state of the art quarantine facility in East London and its quarantine ward at the Royal Free Hospital are fully booked until year end and the company’s hope is to have an update to the market on the third quarantine facility shortly.  

The pandemic has unlocked a decade of exponential spend on developing vaccine and antivirals and a third facility and today’s extra volunteer recruitment capacity will allow Open Orphan to take advantage of its unique position as the world leader in testing both vaccines and antivirals using human viral challenge studies in what is sure to be one of the most fast growing and lucrative niches of the pharma industry over the next decade and beyond. “ 

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

You might also enjoy reading  Open Orphan win £6.2m Influenza human challenge study contract

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated volunteer recruitment website, hVIVO welcomes volunteers to take part in our clinical trials under expertly supervised conditions, to further medical research, and help us to take the understanding of respiratory illnesses to a new level. Volunteers are central to the work that we do; our studies focus on testing new treatments on real people, in a safe, controlled, clinical environment.

Further details on all aspects of our volunteer programs including testimonials from previous volunteers can be found at

If you are interested in being contacted and provided with details about future COVID-19 human challenge study research, please leave your contact details at

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