Business Irish

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Venn Life Sciences enters collaboration to grow its business

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Venn Life Sciences has agreed a strategic collaboration with Open Orphan, as it aims to increase the focus of the business into the high growth area of orphan diseases.

As part of the agreement both parties will commit to resource sharing and joint marketing.

The clinical research firm has also announced the issue of £1m (€1.1m) in privately-held loan notes to help grow the business.

The funds were raised from a group of private individuals, with the group having subscribed for a two year loan note and a 10pc coupon.

In conjunction with the loan facility, and in order to deepen the orphan drug expertise in Venn, it has been agreed that certain board changes will be made, with immediate effect.

Cathal Friel who is a subscriber to £108,642 loan notes, a principal of Raglan Capital and principal of Open Orphan will join the board of Venn as chairman.

In addition Professor Brendan Buckley, a principal of Open Orphan, will join the board of Venn as a non-exective director.  

Allan Wood, chairman and Mary Sheahan, non-executive director, retire from the Venn board and Michael Ryan remains on the board as a senior independent director.

"The development of areas of specialisation is critical if we are to position Venn as a higher value business relative to our peers," Tony Richardson, CEO of Venn, said.

"We envisage the development of a number of areas of specialisation and orphan and rare technologies represent a logical starting point for us," he added.

To date, Venn has managed full service programs and activities across 27 different countries.

Much of the work undertaken by the company is for drugs intended for use in rare diseases, which have been designated "Orphan Drugs".

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