Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge clinical trials, announces that hVIVO, a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has signed a £5.1m contract with a biopharmaceutical company to test its Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP) using hVIVO’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Human Challenge Study Model.
The study is due to commence in H2 2022, with the revenue from the contract being recognised across 2021 and 2022. hVIVO will conduct this study on behalf of this biopharmaceutical client to demonstrate the efficacy of its IMP against RSV infection.
RSV is a contagious virus that affects the respiratory tract of children and at-risk older adults; in severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and other life-threatening breathing difficulties. RSV is a significant public health threat and is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation of young children across the world. It also poses a significant threat to at-risk older adults; in the current climate, RSV may also lower immunity and increase the risk of developing COVID-19, and where these infections occur together, it can worsen the severity of COVID-19 illness.
hVIVO has two decades of experience and expertise in safely conducting challenge studies across a range of respiratory viruses, including RSV, various strains of Influenza, human Rhinovirus HRV (common cold virus), malaria, and asthma. In October 2020, this expanded to include the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan said: “We are pleased to have signed this contract to test our client’s product using our RSV Human Challenge Study Model. It is testament to our position as the world leading provider of Phase IIa human challenge study clinical trials that innovative biopharmaceutical companies, as well as Big Pharma, are actively and regularly engaging us to test their novel vaccine and antiviral candidates.
“RSV is one of several infectious and respiratory disease areas of unmet need that we are seeing rapidly growing interest in from drug developers. We look forward to working with more companies across the world to test their antivirals and vaccines, as Phase IIa human challenge studies increasingly become part of mainstream clinical trial design.”