Venn Life Sciences wins another Covid-19 drug study

Open Orphan subsidiary to manage Phase 2 clinical trial for European pharma company

Venn Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Irish based Open Orphan, has been awarded two new contracts, including a Covid-19 drug trial.

Open Orphan is a specialist clinical trials company which tests vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials. It is already on course to start the world’s first human challenge trial for Covid-19 in January 2021, which will see healthy volunteers exposed to the virus in a London clinic as a first step to testing the effectiveness of a potential vaccine.

Venn announced on Monday that it will undertake a Covid-19 study for a European pharmaceutical company. The trial will involve 200 patients in 50 sites across five countries. Venn said its Paris team will manage the randomisation and supply management for the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a combination treatment of two drugs, and the best supportive care for patients with moderate and severe Covid-19 in a hospitalised setting.

In addition, Venn’s team based in Breda in the Netherlands has also signed a contract with a European pharmaceutical company. It will see Venn assist with project management, design and implementation of new processes related to clinical development and use its expertise to deliver process improvement. The contract, which starts immediately, will run until December 2021 delivering significant revenues for Venn.


Cathal Friel, executive chairman of Open Orphan, said he was "very excited" by the momentum in the business.

“As we come towards the end of 2020, it’s wonderful to see all the elements of the Open Orphan business are delivering substantial revenues and both new contract wins and renewal of existing long-term customer contracts.

“The merger and integration of Open Orphan, Venn and hVIVO is very much now complete and, having become profitable in Q4 2020, we now have a very valuable, fast growing and secure business on our hands. Both Venn and hVIVO are converting their substantial pipeline of work whilst providing a high-quality service to their customers.”

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times