Open Orphan notes article submission by hVIVO Director

Francesca Morgan
Vox Newswire
07:30, 21st January 2021

Open Orphan (ORPH FOLLOW) has noted an article submission published in Drug Discovery Today which was written by Adrian Wildfire, Director of Scientific and Business Strategy at hVIVO.

The print is an online trade magazine with an emphasis on the science which underpins drug discovery and development.

The editorial is titled “Modelling the World – can deliberately infecting healthy volunteers really tell us much about what happens outside the clinic during an epidemic or pandemic?”

The article, written by Adrian, a specialist in the fields of virology, medical microbiology and parasitology, explores what can be learned from using the method of human challenge trials to support vaccine development and focuses on the role the hVIVO division plays in this.  In particular, the article explores these considerations in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

hVIVO’s facility offers specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development.

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing Contract Research Organisation and world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials.

The Group comprises two commercial specialist CRO services businesses, hVIVO and Venn Life Sciences and is also building out a valuable data platform business. All businesses are now working closely together to offer upselling and cross selling opportunities.

The depth and breadth of expertise in a Company beyond the C-Suite should never be overlooked. Its therefore great to see recognition by a well-respected scientific journal publication  of the expertise Open Orphan in general, and hVIVO in particular, has in the area of clinical practices during a pandemic. Importantly for investors, the article provides further evidence that for some disease indications, the human challenge study model is the only way to test the efficacy of some infectious disease therapeutics, especially during a period of a pandemic. Shares in ORPH have increased by over 300% in value since the beginning of April 2020.

ORPH price chart

Reasons to Follow ORPH

World Class Facilities

Open has Europe's only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology providing individually isolated rooms and specialist laboratory facilities. The hVIVO facility offers highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development.

Largest Test Portfolio

Open Orphan has a leading portfolio of 8 viral challenge study models, which are: 2 FLU, 2 RSV, 1 HRV, 1 Asthma, 1 cough and 1 COPD viral challenge models. As announced in early March 2020, it is rapidly advancing several COVID-19 challenge study models and expects to be helping many COVID-19 vaccine development companies to test their vaccines.

hVIVO works with UK and Irish companies to provide COVID-19 testing to staff to protect staff and customers from a workplace COVID-19 outbreak through its COVID Clear offering.

The company announced that its first volunteer had been dosed with the Codagenix needle free, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine, COVI-VAC as part of a Phase I clinical trial of COVI-VAC currently being carried out by hVIVO, at its facility in the UK.

Rapidly Expanding Market with Positive Newsflow

The market for vaccine development and testing has grown rapidly over the past six months, largely due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

However, ORPH believes Governments and International pharmaceutical companies around the world will be making enormous ‘catch-up investments’ in all types of vaccine development to ensure the effects of any pandemic can be mitigated in the future, which it said should result in the hIVO facility being booked out for months, if not years, in advance going forward.

Planned Disposal

When Open Orphan acquired hVIVO in January 2020, hVIVO also came with a number of non-core assets including a 62.6% stake in PrEP Biopharm. However, the new Open Orphan Board and management team are primarily focussed upon cementing its position as a unique CRO and ‘world leader vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge study models, and therefore earmarked all non-core assets for disposal.

The options for disposal of this unique asset are exciting, numerous and particularly timely given its mode of action. These options could include a trade sale to a Big-Pharma for cash, reverse the asset into the resurgence of listed SPACs and Cash Shells, or even Spin the asset out into a newly listed entity delivering investors dividends in specie of newly formed companies.

In any event, OPRH shareholders would do well to remain on the Shareholder register when this transaction takes place as, whilst the valuation of PrEP Biopharm is currently unknown, with little carrying value on the Open Orphan balance sheet, it should advance the share price accordingly.

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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