Open Orphan subsidiary signs deal with global pharma company

Deal will see hVivo manufacture virus for use in human challenge studies

Contract research company Open Orphan said its subsidiary hVivo has signed a deal with a major pharmaceutical client to manufacture a virus for use in human challenge studies.

The unnamed client is a top five global company, Open Orphan said. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but Open Orphan said the contract was “substantial”.

Manufacturing has already begun, and the work is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter.

Open Orphan said it was optimistic that a characterisation study, which establishes the right dose of the virus to cause a safe, reliable infection in healthy volunteers, and a substantial human challenge study would follow the completion of the manufacturing process.


"This contract is testament to our world-class capabilities in the entire challenge trial process, beginning with virus manufacture, through to characterisation study and challenge study execution. This contract illustrates our ability to leverage this to build deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients over significant periods of time," said Yamin Khan, chief executive of Open Orphan.

“This contract is also a further example of the company’s ability to secure repeat contracts from its existing base of Big Pharma clients, who have great confidence in our decades of world leading clinical trial experience. With this experience coupled with our expanded offering following the facilities expansion, I look forward to providing further clinical services support to the significantly enlarged and growing infectious and respiratory disease market.”

Open Orphan, a European-focused, rare and orphan drug consulting services platform, 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.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist