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Open Orphan signs new contract with German pharma firm


Ambition: Cathal Friel of Open Orphan. Photo: Jason Clarke

Ambition: Cathal Friel of Open Orphan. Photo: Jason Clarke

Ambition: Cathal Friel of Open Orphan. Photo: Jason Clarke

DUBLIN-listed Open Orphan has signed a two-year contract with a German pharmaceutical company.

The group in question is “one of Europe's top research-driven pharmaceutical companies,” Open Orphan said in a statement yesterday.

Work under the contract will start next month.

The new contract is in addition to the work currently undertaken for the client by Open Orphan subsidiary Venn, providing support in quantitative sciences as well as earlier stage projects.

"Open Orphan's subsidiaries continue to excel, highlighting the well-rounded expertise of the group and in turn maximising shareholder value," said Open Orphan chairman Cathal Friel.

“This contract delivers on a number of our ambitions, it is a large multi-year contract generating recurring revenues, it is with a large partner and it utilises our expertise in pharmacometric analysis."

Europe-focused Open Orphan specialises in rare disease and so-called orphan drugs – treatments for medical conditions which, because they are so rare, few pharmaceutical companies pursue research into.

The company was founded in 2017 with the aim of becoming a leading specialist contract research pharmaceutical services business.

Earlier this month Hvivo, a subsidiary of Open Orphan, won a contract with the UK government worth up to £10m (€11m).

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The company is involved in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge studies.

The contract with the British government is to develop a Covid-19 human challenge study model.

The model development involves the manufacture of the challenge virus and the first-in-human characterisation study for the virus.

The UK government has secured the first three slots to test vaccines using Hvivo’s Covid-19 challenge study.

Each slot reservation has been secured at a cost of £2.5m, bringing the total value of these slot reservations to £7.5m.

Shares in the group were up 8pc in afternoon trading in London yesterday.

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