Open Orphan Starts On Coronavirus Challenge Study Model

(Alliance News) - Open Orphan PLC on Monday said it has begun to develop the world's first ...

Alliance News 9 March, 2020 | 2:17PM
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(Alliance News) - Open Orphan PLC on Monday said it has begun to develop the world's first commercial human coronavirus challenge study model.

Shares in Open Orphan were down 1.7% at 5.85 pence in London in afternoon trading.

A challenge study is when healthy volunteers are purposefully exposed to an infectious disease. Open Orphan's latest model, also known as a "Controlled Human Infection Model", is being led by hVIVO Chief Scientist Andrew Catchpole along with the Open Orphan scientific advisory board.

Open Orphan, a pharmaceutical services firm which provides virology and vaccine challenge study services, acquired clinical research services provider hVIVO PLC in January.

At present, Open Orphan is in talks with King & Wood Malleson, which is "acting on behalf of selected Chinese pharmaceutical and life science clients" in order to obtain funding to further develop the challenge study.

The company expects most of the "major costs" of developing the model will be "funded by new Chinese pharmaceutical partner companies who will get a return on their investment from royalties on the sale of this particular challenge study model".

Open Orphan said it will use common coronavirus strains like OC43 and 229E to get "proof-of-concept data" to help pick the best candidates for field testing in Covid-19.

Executive Chair Cathal Friel said: "This is an important milestone in the development and evolution of Open Orphan and particularly the company's subsidiary hVIVO which is based in London, UK. We are very happy to be able to try and assist in the battle against covid-19. Our hVIVO scientists and virologists, and especially hVIVO's founder and the now chair of our scientific advisory board John Oxford, have a long history and experience of successfully developing challenge studies.

"This development also reinforces the strength of hVIVO's reputation as a world leader in providing services to global vaccine and anti-viral production companies and is another example of the growth potential for Open Orphan. A considerable amount of the work around this project has already been carried out and the project takes advantage of the significant knowledge and experience gained from hVIVO's previous challenge virus manufacturing campaigns. We are delighted to be working with Mike Wang of the international law firm King & Wood Mallesons who is working with us to secure funders for this project from his network of Chinese pharmaceutical and life science companies."

By Anna Farley; annafarley@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Open Orphan PLC 12.50 GBX 6.38 -

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