Open Orphan raises £5.3m through share placing

Drug consulting services platform to use proceeds to fund growth and synergies

The fundraising has been underwritten by Raglan Capital, an entity controlled by executive chairman Cathal Friel.

The fundraising has been underwritten by Raglan Capital, an entity controlled by executive chairman Cathal Friel.


Dublin-listed pharma services company Open Orphan raised £5.3 million though a share placing on Friday.

Open Orphan, a European-focussed, rare and orphan drug consulting services platform, offered new ordinary shares at a price of 6.1 pence per share to institutional and other investors.

It raised £5.3 million through the placing of 71,254,110 new ordinary shares and the subscription of 15,631,143 new ordinary shares. The proceeds of the fundraising will be used to fund its growth and synergies programme.

Open Orphan last year agreed to merge with UK-based Hvivo in a £30 million (€35.7 million) reverse takeover.

The company is the result of executive chairman Cathal Friel reversing his pharma services business of the same name into Dublin-listed drug clinical trials manager Venn Life Sciences last year.

Following the share sale on Friday, Mr Friel said he was “hugely excited” by the combination of Open Orphan and Hvivo.

“We have a fantastic team, substantial revenue potential and the opportunity to grow a profitable business quickly in the year ahead,” he said.

“I am personally participating in the placing as I believe in the strategy of the business and its ability to deliver substantial returns to shareholders in the next 12 months.

“Furthermore, I am particularly excited as to the opportune timing of our acquisition of Hvivo, as virology, vaccines and viruses are particularly topical all around the world in recent days and weeks.

“Hvivo have the unique reputation as being the world leader in this space of providing services for over 30 years to the vaccine production companies around the world.

“Furthermore, Hvivo has quite a large database of anonymised patient data including genomic data and which we can now upload and potentially monetise through our Open Orphan Genomic Health Data platform.”

In addition, Mr Friel welcomed the new investors to the shareholder register where the original founders and management team still retain a stake in excess of 20 per cent of the enlarged company due to their original investments.

“The fundraising strengthens the balance sheet to help us realise the full potential of the enlarged group,” he said. “We are excited by the growth potential of the company and look forward to creating value for all our shareholders.”

Open Orphan signed a new three-year contract with a German pharmaceutical company earlier this year, which it said will guarantee “significant annual revenue”.

It declined to the name the company, but described it as “one of Europe’s top research-driven pharmaceutical companies”.