Open Orphan confirms new €4.3m Covid study contract

Dublin-listed pharmaceutical services firm running world’s first Covid-19 human challenge trials

Open Orphan chief executive Cathal Friel: ‘We are focused on continuing to deliver large and profitable contracts.’

Open Orphan chief executive Cathal Friel: ‘We are focused on continuing to deliver large and profitable contracts.’

 

Dublin-listed pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan confirmed on Monday that it has secured a new £4.3 million (€4.7 million) contract to conduct a human viral challenge study for one of the top 10 global vaccine companies.

The move follows media reports last week that it would run the world’s first Covid-19 human challenge trials, in which healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to assess the effectiveness of experimental vaccines.

The trial will be conducted by Open Orphan’s London-based subsidiary hVivo in its human viral challenge quarantine unit in London, Europe’s only commercial 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with an on-site virology laboratory. The company said that work on the contract has started already and the contract is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2021 with the majority of revenues being generated in the second half of 2021.

Executive chairman Cathal Friel said: “We are focused on continuing to deliver large and profitable contracts which demonstrate hVivo’s position as the world leader in the testing of vaccines and anti-virals using human challenge clinical trials.”

Mr Friel added that the company is now close to having its London quarantine clinic booked with challenge studies until December 2021 with more studies in the pipeline.

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