Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which has a focus on orphan drugs and is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, announces that, further to its announcement at 7.00 a.m. today (the “Fundraising Announcement”), it has successfully completed the oversubscribed Fundraising which is now closed.
The Fundraising has raised approximately £12 million (net of expenses) through the placing of 109,549,098 new Ordinary Shares, an offer for subscription conducted by PrimaryBid Limited of 4,545,454 new Ordinary Shares and subscription of 727,272 new Ordinary Shares, all at an Issue Price of 11 pence per share.
The net proceeds of the Fundraising will be used to
- Maximise available Covid-19 opportunities including accelerating the development of both a seasonal coronavirus and a Covid-19 virus challenge study model to capitalise upon Group’s inbound demand from Covid-19 vaccine developers globally. These challenge study models have the ability to speed up the development of a vaccine by 2-3 years;
- Ramp up Covid-19 antiviral testing to the Group’s current capacity for 3,000 tests per day;
- Expand existing laboratory testing services to 3rd party pharmaceutical and biotech companies in line with our strategy of becoming a leading services provider to the growing viral, and respiratory diseases sector of the pharmaceutical industry; and
- Strengthen the balance sheet to enable the Group to take advantage of the significant and growing opportunities the Board believes are available.
First Admission and Total Voting Rights
The Firm Fundraise of 44,496,864 new Ordinary Shares is conditional on First Admission, and is being carried out within the Company’s existing share authority to issue Ordinary Shares for cash.
It is expected that the Firm Fundraising Shares will be admitted to trading on AIM and Euronext Growth at 8.00 a.m. on or around 29 May 2020 (or such later date as may be agreed between the Company and Arden, but no later than 30 June 2020).
Following the First Admission of the Firm Fundraising Shares, the total number of Ordinary Shares in the Company in issue will be 593,535,138. This figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Company under the FCA’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Second Admission and Total Voting Rights
The Second Admission of 70,324,960 new Ordinary Shares is conditional upon (amongst other things) the Placing Agreement not having been terminated, First Admission occurring, the passing of the Resolutions at the General Meeting and Second Admission occurring on or before 8.00 a.m. on 12 June 2020 (or such later date and/or time as the Joint Brokers and the Company may agree, being no later than 3.00 p.m. on 30 June 2020 in respect of the Conditional Fundraise).
It is expected that the Conditional Fundraising Shares will be admitted to trading on AIM and Euronext Growth at 8.00 a.m. on or around 12 June 2020 (or such later date as may be agreed between the Company and Arden, but no later than 30 June February 2020).
Following the Second Admission of the Conditional Fundraising Shares, the total number of Ordinary Shares in the Company in issue will be 663,860,098. This figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Company under the FCA’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said:
“Open Orphan is now a fast growing, and soon to be profitable, specialist CRO pharmaceutical services business with a market leading position in the rapidly expanding market of testing vaccines and antivirals. We are delighted by the heavily oversubscribed fundraise which has brought many new leading blue-chip institutional shareholders to our share register.
As a result of Covid-19, we are seeing unprecedented growth opportunities as pharma, biotech and governments around the world focus funding on finding solutions to Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases. As such, we’re developing several new revenue streams including by speeding up the development of both a seasonal coronavirus and a Covid-19 virus challenge study model to capitalise upon the Company’s inbound demand from Covid-19 vaccine developers globally. We have also opened up our laboratory services offering to third party pharma and biotech companies, as in the case of the recently announced Nearmedic contract, and from our state-of-the-art viral laboratory have launched a transformational Covid-19 antibody testing service which, unlike the home and online testing kits, offers 100% accuracy and the potential to complete up to 3,000 tests per day on a single machine. We believe that the Company has the pipeline to potentially sign up to six Covid-19 related challenge study contracts in 2020 with a further six potential contracts in 2021.
It is an exciting time at Open Orphan, and we are looking to capitalise on the opportunity to deliver rapid growth in the near term by converting some of our c. £160m pipeline of revenue opportunities.”
Capitalised terms in this Announcement shall have the meanings given to such terms in the Group’s announcement at 7.00 a.m. today.
For further information please contact
Open Orphan plc
Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman +353 (0)1 644 0007
Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) +44 (0)20 7614 5900
John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons (Corporate Finance)
Fraser Marshall / Simon Johnson (Equity Sales)
finnCap plc (Joint Broker) +44 (0) 20 7220 0500
Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Charlie Beeson (Corporate Finance)
Richard Chambers (ECM)
Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker) +353 (0)1 679 6363
Camarco (Financial PR) +44 (0)20 3757 4980
Tom Huddart / Daniel Sherwen