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Open Orphan raises €6.3m funds through share placing

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Chairman of Open Orphan Cathal Friel

Chairman of Open Orphan Cathal Friel

Jason Clarke

Chairman of Open Orphan Cathal Friel

Open Orphan, a Europe- focused pharma services company specialising in rare disease and so-called orphan drugs, has raised £5.3m (€6.3m) through a share placing.

The proceeds will be used to fund the growth of the business and a synergies programme of the group, following completion of Open Orphan's merger with UK-based Hvivo.

Hvivo provides clinical development services - including human drug trials - to the pharmaceutical research industry.

In the oversubscribed placing, Open Orphan raised the funds through the combined issuance and subscription of 86,885,253 new shares at an issue price of 6.1 pence per share.

The fundraising has been underwritten up to £2.5m by Raglan Capital, an entity controlled by Cathal Friel, chairman of Open Orphan.

Raglan Capital now owns 8.6pc of the enlarged share capital of Open Orphan.

Mr Friel said the fundraising "strengthens the balance sheet to help us realise the full potential of the enlarged group".

"We are excited by the growth potential of the company, and look forward to creating value for all our shareholders," he added.

The initial founders of Open Orphan - including Mr Friel - continue to retain a substantial stake in excess of 20pc of the enlarged company.

This is because their original investment in the business means they remain locked in for three years post the group's initial public offering in June 2019.

In December last year, Open Orphan and Hvivo agreed the terms of their merger.

Both firms are listed on the Alternative Investment Market in London.

The takeover deal values Hvivo at £13m, giving the combined business a valuation of about £28.5m.

Following the admission of the fundraising shares, the total number of ordinary shares in Open Orphan in issue will be 532,507,627.

Irish Independent