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Open Orphan #ORPH – Upcoming Investor Events

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models is delighted to be attending and presenting at a series of investor events from the 9th to 11th July 2020.

Cathal Friel, Open Orphan’s Chief Executive Officer, will be in attendance for all of the events and will be presenting to update existing and potential investors on the Company’s business plans for 2020-2021.

No new material information will be disclosed at any event.

A full schedule of the upcoming events is as follows:

Event

Date/Time

Location

Hardman & Co Investor Forum Webinar

July 9th 2020 / 15:00 – 16:30

Virtual Event, further information and registration here: Link

Proactive Investors One2One Investor Forum

July 9th 2020 / 18:00 – 20:00

Virtual Event, further information and registration here: Link

Mello Virtual – Investing in the New World

July 11th 2020 / 9:00 – 17:00

Virtual Event, further information and registration here: Link

 

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Open Orphan #ORPH – Additional Laboratory Services Contracts Signed with NOBACZ & Nearmedic International

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials is pleased to announce that as part of opening up its hVIVO laboratory services to third parties that it has signed 3 new contracts with third parties; NoBACZ Ltd who are a spin-out company of the University of Cambridge, a new second contract with Nearmedic International Ltd and a contract to run in-vitro testing from its laboratory for a Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech.

NoBACZ Ltd is developing an environmentally friendly antimicrobial, antiviral coating that prevents common-touch surfaces from being a major source of infection transmission during and beyond the COVID-19 outbreak. The innovative, customisable antimicrobial coating has a multitude of applications across public spaces and industries. Applied as a liquid, the NoBACZ product is adhesive and water repellent and sets into a solid but flexible barrier that is robust enough to form a semi-permanent coating on a wide variety of surfaces. The product’s composition can be fine-tuned to produce a thin or thick coating to suit different surfaces and materials, with the ability to adapt the product’s life-span before it naturally degrades such that there is no need to manually remove it.  

NoBACZ Ltd is working with hVIVO, at its state-of-the-art laboratory in East London, to test its products against a range of viruses, including coronaviruses and ultimately, against SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19 disease. If successful, the long-lasting coating can be applied to high-touch surfaces in public transport, office buildings, hospitals, gyms, care-homes, and supermarkets.

hVIVO has also recently signed a contract to run in vitro testing from its laboratory for a Cambridge, Massachusetts based biotech company. In addition, hVIVO had also signed another contract with Nearmedic International Ltd, the Company’s second in recent times, to support the development of a RegG3 drug as a treatment for COVID-19 followed by the expansion of this product into several disease areas such as Cystic Fibrosis.

As announced at Open Orphan’s recent fundraise, the group is expanding its virology and laboratory testing services to third parties. This provision of third-party laboratory services is a growth area for the Group as numerous biotechnology companies and small cap pharmaceutical companies around the world do not have their own virology laboratory. hVIVO has a unique state-of-the-art virology laboratory which it needs to run its own clinical trials, however, quite often in the past it was no more than 15% to 20% utilised. Therefore, going forward it makes great business sense to build up the laboratory services to use this underutilised capacity, i.e. our existing staff resources and facilities, to build a more profitable and sustainable business going forward. These contracts are further evidence of the Open Orphan Group executing on its strategy of building out additional and sustainable revenue lines from each of its Group companies going forward and is in line with the strategy of becoming a leading pharma services provider to the viral, and respiratory diseases sector of the pharmaceutical industry.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said:

“We are now continuing to sign additional new virology services contracts with third party customers and, as such, this is delivering upon one of our key commitments from when we acquired hVIVO earlier this year that, as part of our growth strategy, we were going to expand the range of our service offerings to third party pharmaceutical and biotech companies. I am excited by this area of growth for Open Orphan as we seek to maximise the value out of our fantastic facilities in East London.”

Jonathan Powell, CEO of NoBACZ said:

“We are delighted to be working with hVIVO, a world-leading virology laboratory and pioneer of viral challenge studies, in our efforts to evaluate NoBACZ’s ground-breaking coating technology and its effectiveness at contact-killing respiratory viruses. hVIVO has the requisite experience and professional commercial focus to execute our pivotal studies rapidly and efficiently, allowing us to move forward in our ambitions to provide a quick-to-market solution for protecting the public against a resurgence of COVID-19 or similar outbreaks.” 

Rupert Holms, Chairman of Nearmedic said:

“hVIVO and Open Orphan have the unique combination of skills which shall help Nearmedic to get its novel ezrin peptide technology to the global pharmaceutical markets and  help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic” 

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Open Orphan #ORPH – Notice of AGM

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models announces that its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019 and the notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”), will be posted to shareholders later today , and will shortly be available on the Company’s website, https://www.openorphan.com/.

The Company’s AGM will be held at the offices of Arden Partners PLC, 125 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1AR on 22 July 2020 at 12 noon.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING COVID-19

In light of the UK Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes banning most non-essential travel and gatherings of more than two people, the Company and the Executive Chairman have determined that the Resolutions to be proposed at the AGM shall be voted on through a poll rather than on a show of hands. The Company believes that this is the best and fairest way to ensure that the votes of all shareholders can be taken into account, whilst also preventing the Company and shareholders breaching applicable regulations. Accordingly, the Company encourages all shareholders to either submit their Form of Proxy or use the CREST Proxy Voting Service, rather than attend the meeting in person. In accordance with the Company’s articles of association, whilst completion and return of the Form of Proxy or using the CREST Proxy Voting Service would not preclude shareholders from attending, speaking and voting in person at the AGM should they so wish, shareholders are reminded that to do so would potentially be in breach of UK Government regulations in relation to the containment and control of COVID-19 and accordingly shareholders are strongly encouraged to either submit their Form of Proxy or use the CREST Proxy Voting Service, rather than attend the AGM in person.

 

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

 

Notes to Editors – Open Orphan:

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services group which is a world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals through the use of human challenge clinical trials. Conducted from Europe’s only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology providing individually isolated rooms and connected to our specialist laboratory facility. Which offers highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development.  Reliable laboratory analysis underpinned by scientific expertise is essential when processing and analysing clinical samples. Robust quality processes support our team of scientists in the delivery of submission ready data.

The Group 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, Open Orphan is rapidly advancing a number of Coronavirus challenge study models and expects to be helping many COVID-19 vaccine development companies to test their vaccines. No other company in the world has such a portfolio, with only two competitors globally having 1 challenge study model each.  In June 2020 hVIVO COVID Clear Test was launched, the most accurate antibody test available to UK employers, helping them to get their people back to work.

Open Orphan comprises of two commercial specialist CRO services businesses, hVIVO and Venn Life Sciences, and is developing an early stage orphan drug genomics data platform business. This platform captures valuable genetic data from patient populations with specific diseases with designated orphan drug status and incorporating AI tools. In June 2019, Open Orphan acquired AIM-listed Venn Life Sciences Holdings plc in a reverse take-over and in January 2020 it completed the merger with hVIVO plc. Venn, as an integrated drug development consultancy, offers CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), preclinical, Phase I & II clinical trials design and execution. The merger with hVIVO created a European full pharma services group broadening the Group’s customer base and with complementary specialist CRO services, widened the range of the Group’s service offerings.

Open Orphan #ORPH – Full Year Results

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models is pleased to announce its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

 

Financial Highlights

Open Orphan plc

(As reported)

hVIVO plc

(As reported)

Open Orphan plc

(formerly Venn Life Sciences Holdings plc -proforma results

on a stand-alone basis and excluding any impact of the 28 June 2019 combination)

Open Orphan DAC

(proforma results

on a stand-alone basis

and excluding any

 impact of the

28 June 2019

combination)

Open Orphan plc

(proforma results on a combined basis and including the impact of the 28 June 2019 and 17 January 2020 combinations)

2019

€’000

2018

€’000

2019

£’000

2018

£’000

2019

€’000

2018

€’000

2019

€’000

2018

€’000

2019

€’000

2018

€’000

Revenue (incl. Other income)

4,039

15,092

13,626

9,854

14,291

27,061

29,712

Operating (Loss)

(5,837)

(1,611)

(5,893)

(13,427)

(6,469)

(2,367)

(763)

(1,611)

(14,249)

(19,174)

EBITDA before exceptional items

(4,311)

(1,611)

(3,785)

(8,862)

(5,053)

(1,432)

(763)

(1,611)

(10,130)

(13,072)

Loss for the period

(6,543)

(1,656)

(6,973)

(16,833)

(6,442)

(4,775)

(1,025)

(1,656)

(16,524)

(25,481)

 

Post Period End Highlights

·      Completion of merger of Open Orphan plc and hVIVO plc in January 2020 creating a specialist pharma services group with complementary CRO services

·      Continued action to reduce the cost base with annualised savings of €2.0m in hVIVO and €3.0m in Venn respectively removed since the merger in January 2020 and further annualised cost savings of €2.5m in the merged entity are expected to be implemented by 31 December 2020

·      Developing the world’s first challenge study model clinical trial in order to be able to test the efficacy of the large number of Covid-19 vaccines that are in development

·      Developing an antibody testing service with capacity for up to 3,000 tests per day using the Quotient testing instruments which is one of the few able to offer 100% accuracy

·      Expanded the Group’s pipeline of opportunities and converting pipeline of contracts across the whole Group, including:

o  provision of an RSV human challenge study projected to deliver £3.2m in revenue all of which is expected to be recognised in 2020 with potential for additional follow-on £7m Pivotal challenge study delivering significant further revenue

o  A contract with a US Biotech company for the provision of an RSV human challenge study projected to deliver £3.5 million in revenue all of which is expected to be recognised in 2020

o  Expansion of laboratory service with offerings to third party biotech companies and small cap pharma companies with new contracts already completed and this is anticipated to be an important new revenue generating stream for the Group

o  Venn’s traditional pharma consulting business continues to perform well and a significant contract was announced in recent weeks to obtain and support market access of newly developed vaccines into the EU and US markets for one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world

·      Increased liquidity and strong balance sheet through placings of £5.3m in January 2020 and £12.6m in May 2020 to allow the Group to complete its transition and leverage a broader service offering to an enlarged and combined customer base

Outlook

·      Unprecedent growth opportunities as pharma focuses funding on Covid-19 and respiratory diseases resulting the development of a strong pipeline of opportunities, for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 challenge studies along with the wider CRO services offered by the Group

·      Strong pipeline of work to build H2 2020 revenue, targeting operational profitability by Q3 2020

·      A further €2.5m of cost to be removed from the business in H2 2020

·      Right management team in place, with a clear strategy, targeting the high margin pharma services sector, to deliver significant shareholder value

·      A strategic review is underway in order to seek to monetise the 49% stake in Imutex and our other non-core investments such as the 62.5% in PrEP Biopharm and our 100% stake in an immunomodulator

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said:

“Since the reverse takeover of Venn in June 2019 we have been building the foundations of a soon to be profitable business in Q3 and a rapidly growing CRO pharmaceutical services Group with all loses in both companies confined to the past. The merger with hVIVO, post period end, has given us a full-service business, with world class facilities, motivated colleagues and a strong pipeline of work and transforms out business into the world leader in the testing of vaccines and anti-virals through human challenge model clinical trials.

Traditionally, the testing of vaccines and antivirals had been somewhat of a Cinderella industry, however, following the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic it is clear that for the months and years ahead the development of new and novel vaccines and also the testing of such vaccines and antivirals will be one of the fastest growing areas of the pharmaceutical industry. In recent decades, governments and pharma companies around the world completely underinvested in new vaccines and the onset of Covid-19 caught them significantly off-guard and as such there is a huge capital investment program underway around the world to roll out an extensive range of Covid-19 and importantly non-Covid-19 vaccines to ensure that the world is not caught unprepared in future pandemics.

We have substantially reduced overheads and rightsized the management team including combining the CEO and other senior roles in both Venn and hVIVO. We have also brought forward some long-serving and excellent line managers and heads of departments flattening the organisation structure and giving them more autonomy and responsibility to successfully run their own areas and this is proving very effective both for the company but also most importantly for the individual managers as well. In turn, this has completely transformed the culture of the enlarged business to one of vastly more open communications, sharing of knowledge and a much faster decision-making process.

I am very excited for the year ahead and I am confident that we have created a soon to be profitable, fast-growing business which is creating value for all our stakeholders.”

Conference call for sell-side analysts and investors

The Company will hold a conference call for sell-side analysts and investors at 09:30 today.

Participant dial-in numbers

 

Dial-in numbers:

IE: +353 1 526 0106

UK: +44 33 0606 1122

ITFS:  International Access Numbers

 

Room number:

 

430863

 

Participant PIN:

 

5880

A corporatepresentation is available to shareholders on the Group’s website at: https://www.openorphan.com/investors/reports-and-presentations/year/2020

 For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Open Orphan #ORPH – Positive Phase 1 study results published in The Lancet

Monday 15th June, 2020

Positive results from the Phase I study of the AGS-v vaccine developed by an Open Orphan joint venture, Imutex Limited, have been published in the peer reviewed journal The Lancet

AGS-v is a first-in-class mosquito saliva, standalone, vaccine candidate designed to protect against mosquito-borne diseases carried in the saliva such as Zika, Malaria, Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models is pleased to announce that the results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 1 trial of AGS-v have been published in The Lancet. AGS-v has been developed by Imutex Limited, in which Open Orphan owns a 49% stake in conjunction with the SEEK Group.

Highlights:

·    The first trial of AGS-v, a first-in-class “mosquito saliva vaccine” in humans

·    The trial indicated that the vaccine is safe and induces a strong immune response in healthy volunteers

·    These positive findings suggest that AGS-v is now ready to advance to Phase II

Numerous studies have shown that protection from diseases carried in saliva is possible if you alter the immune response to saliva. Using natural saliva to achieve this not viable. AGS-v is designed as a transformational vaccine, the first ever mosquito synthetic saliva vaccine designed in to protect against mosquito-borne diseases carried in the saliva such as Zika, Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus etc. AGS-v is designed to provoke an immune response against mosquito saliva, rather than any specific parasites, viruses, or bacteria the mosquito might transmit making it an important tool in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases.

In the new study published in The Lancet, NIAID scientists describe the results of the Phase 1 trial of the vaccine as “encouraging and worthy of further study”.

The Trial Results

The double-blind study, which began in 2017 at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, was the first trial of this so-called “mosquito saliva vaccine” in humans.

The volunteers’ blood tests showed that the vaccine in combination with the adjuvant produced a significant immune response to mosquito salivary peptides. Further, this immune response was not accompanied by a worse reaction to mosquito bites.

The study’s results are promising and suggest that further research to test the vaccine’s efficacy against individual pathogens, followed by larger field studies, would be worthwhile.  A widely available “universal” vaccine could provide protection against emerging and re-emerging mosquito-borne diseases as they arise, allowing public health officials to quickly respond to new outbreaks and epidemics without waiting for new treatments or vaccines to be developed.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said:

“We are delighted with the results of this very important and successful trial of Imutex’s universal vaccine for mosquito-borne diseases. This further confirms and reinforces our belief that our 49% shareholding in Imutex has a lot of unrealised potential value and we look forward to working closely with Gregory Stoloff and his team in SEEK to see how we can commercialise and monetise the true value of Imutex over the coming months.”

Gregory Stoloff, Chief Executive Office, Imutex Ltd, said:

“We all know too well today the cost of pandemics to society and mosquitoes have been causing these problems for many countries for too long. It has been known for some time that injecting saliva in a particular way from an insect provides protection from the disease carried in that saliva. Harvesting natural saliva however, was not practical. We are very excited that our synthetic made saliva produced an immune response and was safe in humans. This makes a vaccine that can protect people against  so many diseases that plague the world, a step closer to reality. We are excited that we now are a step closer to making a vaccine that could deal with these issues.”

 

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Experts seek approval for COVID-19 trials – China Daily

By ANGUS McNEICE in London

Medical community divided on issue of exposing humans to deadly virus

A laboratory in the United Kingdom is hoping to become the first in the world to intentionally infect volunteers with novel coronavirus in order to test the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

Half of the participants in these so-called human challenge trials would be given a candidate vaccine for COVID-19, the other half would get a placebo, and all of them would then be exposed to novel coronavirus via a nasal spray.

The volunteers, aged 18 to 30, would then spend weeks quarantined at a private clinic, frequently checked on by researchers in hazmat suits running tests to determine if the vaccine provides protection against the disease. Those who display symptoms would be treated with antivirals or immunotherapeutics.

The human challenge model is a tried and tested way to assess vaccine efficacy. Such trials have previously been used in the study of influenza, malaria, typhoid, dengue fever, and cholera inoculations. Challenge studies have an advantage over traditional field trials when levels of a pathogen are low in the general population, as is the case with novel coronavirus during lockdown.

The method is also highly controversial, and the lab in question, London-based hVIVO, will have to navigate an ethical minefield to achieve its goal during this pandemic.

“We are the only place in the world that is well down the road to development for COVID-19 human challenge studies,” Cathal Friel, chief executive of hVIVO parent company Open Orphan, told China Daily. “We will be able to very quickly guarantee to any pharma company in the world if their vaccine works.”

Friel is currently in talks over running challenge trials for a dozen COVID-19 vaccine developers in Europe, North America, and Asia, three of which are from China. Before commencing the trials, hVIVO must gain approval from the ethics committee at the UK’s drug regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Among a host of considerations, the committee will attempt to answer two core questions: is COVID-19 too dangerous for a challenge trial, and are existing treatments effective enough if and when volunteers fall ill.

Challenge trials generally involve around 100 volunteers and are typically used to test vaccines against non-lethal illnesses, such as the common cold, or diseases for which highly effective treatments exist, such as malaria. The trials are not considered for lethal diseases for which existing treatments are limited, such as Ebola or Marburg virus.

While severe cases of COVID-19 are rare among healthy young people, some in the medical community warn that not enough is yet known about the disease to run such trials, and doing so would be extremely risky. Others argue that this risk can be mitigated with well-designed trials, which would in turn greatly accelerate vaccine development, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

Vaccine developers are faced with a conundrum during this stage of the pandemic. Field trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers are most efficient when a pathogen is thriving in the general population. But lockdown measures in some regions have been so effective that there is not enough COVID-19 going around to challenge a vaccine’s efficacy.

Link here to the original story

Open Orphan #ORPH – Major New Contract Win for Venn Life Sciences

Open Orphan plc (ORPH) a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, is pleased to announce that it has signed a major contract with a leading vaccine developer and one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The contract with Venn Life Sciences, which is part of Open Orphan, builds on earlier successful contracts between the companies and is to obtain and support market access of newly developed vaccines into the EU and US markets until the end of 2020.

The contact demonstrates Venn Life Sciences’ ability to service leading vaccine developers which in turn benefits hVIVO, also part of Open Orphan, as cross-selling opportunities arise. The contract demonstrates Venn Life Sciences’ unique combination of drug development expertise, clinical trial design and execution services.

This fits with Open Orphan’s strategic aim of becoming a leading pharma services provider globally with particular expertise across the Company in providing services to the rapidly growing vaccines industry.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, commented:

“We are delighted to have signed this contract with a leading vaccine developer and one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. This contract reinforces Open Orphan’s position as one of the leading service providers to the vaccine industry globally. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the vaccine industry is now an increasingly important and rapidly growing sector with many large pharmaceutical companies now directing huge amounts of resources towards their vaccine divisions to progress both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 vaccines. Open Orphan is ideally positioned to capitalise upon this trend as we build the Company into a growing, profitable pharmaceutical services business.”

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

finnCap Ltd (Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Notes to Editors – Open Orphan:

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services company which is a world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals through the use of human challenge clinical trials. Conducted from Europe’s only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology providing individually isolated rooms and connected to our specialist laboratory facility. Which offers highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development.  Reliable laboratory analysis underpinned by scientific expertise is essential when processing and analysing clinical samples. Robust quality processes support our team of scientists in the delivery of submission ready data.

The Company 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, Open Orphan is rapidly advancing a number of Coronavirus challenge study models and expects to be helping many COVID-19 vaccine development companies to test their vaccines. No other company in the world has such a portfolio, with only two competitors globally having 1 challenge study model each.

Open Orphan comprises of two commercial specialist CRO services businesses (hVIVO and Venn) and is developing an early stage orphan drug genomics data platform business. This platform captures valuable genetic data from patient populations with specific diseases with designated orphan drug status and incorporating AI tools. In June 2019, Open Orphan acquired AIM-listed Venn Life Sciences Holdings plc in a reverse take-over and in January 2020 it completed the merger with hVIVO plc. Venn, as an integrated drug development consultancy, offers CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), preclinical, Phase I & II clinical trials design and execution. The merger with hVIVO created a European full pharma services company broadening the Company’s customer base and with complementary specialist CRO services, widened the range of the Company’s service offerings.

Alan Green talks markets, Open Orphan #ORPH, Versarien #VRS & San Leon Energy #SLE on UK Investor Magazine podcast

Alan Green talks markets, Open Orphan #ORPH, Versarien #VRS & San Leon Energy #SLE on the UK Investor Magazine podcast

Open Orphan plc #ORPH – Launch of Covid-19 Antibody Testing

Open Orphan plc      (“Open Orphan” or the “Company”)

Launch of Covid-19 Antibody Testing

Open Orphan plc (ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, announces the launch of hVIVO COVID Clear Test, the Company’s antibody testing service, following the successful completion of installation, testing and training.

The antibody tests, which utilise the Quotient MosaiQ™ system and MosaiQ COVID-19 Antibody Microarray, offer best in class COVID-19 antibody testing performance and will require a full blood draw. hVIVO COVID Clear Test will be offered to large employer groups and channel partners including GP networks, nursing services, health clinics and private hospitals. Samples will be tested in the Company’s London laboratory with results returned within 48 hours.

The Company is hosting a press event at its clinic in East London at 11am today details of which can be found at: https://hvivo.com/news-media/companynews/.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said: “hVIVO is a world class company with best in class scientists and facilities. We are very excited to be offering this service and I am confident our work will help large companies and clinics in the UK test their staff and patients to ensure the safety of all employees. I look forward to updating everyone on our progress in due course.”

Franz Walt, Chief Executive Officer, Quotient, said: “Antibody testing is crucial for guidance on immunity, development of vaccinations and potential revaccinations, as well as helping to answer outstanding epidemiological questions about the spread of the virus. We are incredibly proud to be collaborating with hVIVO and Open Orphan in this project and can assure them that we will provide top of the line services alongside our excellent products.”

 

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer / Dan Gee-Summons

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson/ Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Camarco (Financial PR)

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Hugo Liddy

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) closed its pubs and hotels on 20 May and it will not pay a final dividend for 2019-20. Net debt was £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and there are £16.6m of spare bank facilities. Trading had been strong, and the predominance of freehold properties means that rent payments is not as big a concern as it is for some pub operators.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) had a NAV of 127p a share at the end of 2019. The share price is 87.5p. There is cash of £4.8m and the company intends to pay off its bond, which has a 6% coupon. In 2019, pre-tax profit dipped from £117,000 to £114,000.

KR1 (KR1) has raised $353,000 from the sale of RPL tokens, relating to the Rocket Pool, which is developing a proof-of-stake infrastructure service using Ethereum 2.0. The tokens were acquired for $0.21 each and sold at $1.67 each. The majority of the RPL tokens acquired are still held by KR1 even though there was a buyer for all of them. The takeover of digital asset custodian Volt Ltd has generated a further $244,000.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed a framework agreement that will enable it to provide cancer treatment services to NHS trusts. The deal lasts an initial period of two years.

Altona Energy (ANR) has cancelled its open offer because the minimum amount was not raised. Instead, management is in discussions with three companies that could reverse into Altona. Cash will be required to cover the costs of a reverse takeover.

Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares. Lombard’s waste and recycling subsidiary is acquiring land in Preston for £1.08m. Lombard needs to issue more bonds in order to fully fund the purchase. Existing bond holders are swapping £507,000 worth into shares at 25p each and £320,000 has been raised from the exercise of warrants at 10p each. The current share price is 27.5p and it is more than five times the level it was two months ago. The site was previously used for recycling and Lombard will reapply for an environmental licence. It will be used for a waste to energy project and a plastic recovering plant.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Kesholabs, a Kenya-based blockchain technology developer. Kesholabs is developing three applications that could be launched within 12 months.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that CASA is set to resume limited operations after the lockdown in South Africa. CASA will produce test work and production of anthracite samples.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT plants has met with the MHRA to discuss its plans to grow strains of cannabis. This is part of the licence application to grow medicinal cannabis. There will be further consultation with the UK authorities.

World High Life (LIFE) says that subsidiary Love Hemp has increased capacity for its LH Botanicals business.

IWEP is swapping part of its loan to Eight Capital Partners (ECP) into a 29.8% stake at 0.025p a share. Shares have also been issued to creditors to satisfy money owed.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £270,000 in Stabiltech Biopharma as part of a £6m fundraising. The corporate finance subsidiary is advising the investee company on further fundraisings. The vaccine developer is developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Clinical trials should start in June.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) is still seeking property investments. There is £514,000 in the bank and net assets of £470,000.

All Star Minerals (ASMO0 has raised £80,000 at 0.02p a share and a further £170,000 is being sought. Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd, who both have mining experience, are joining the board.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £189,500 in placings at 7p a share and 7.5p a share. NQ has raised £340,000 in the past fortnight.

Shareholders have passed the resolution to consolidate 100 existing Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) shares into one new share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Peterhouse as joint broker.

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries is seeking admittance to the Aquis Stock Exchange. The focus is profitable metal fabrication and precision engineering businesses. First Sentinel is corporate adviser. The expected admission date is 1 June.

AIM

Renalytix AI (RENX) plans to gain a Nasdaq listing. The renal diagnostics company has not decided how much money it wants to raise. Renalytix AI has launched a joint venture to develop and produce COVID-19 antibody test kits.

STM (STM) subsidiary Carey has won a court case brought by a client. Adams v Carey related to a non-advisory SIPP taken out by Adams and an investment that he asked to be put in the SIPP. The investment performed poorly, and Adams claimed for loss of value. This case has been going on for more than two years.

Employee background checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) has launched a COVID-19 testing service that will help employers with back to work planning. That could attract additional clients for ClearStar’s services.

Imaging services provider IXICO (IXI) increased interim revenues from £3.43m to £4.56m and that helped to more than double profit from £215,000 to £475,000. There was cash of £6.66m at the end of March 2020. The order book is strong. It was £15.3m at the end of the interim period and more has been added since then. Data analysis from existing trials is continuing during the lockdown.

Tiziana Life Science (TILS) intends to demerge its genomics-based personalised medicine businesses into a separate quoted vehicle. This will enable the business to raise cash to develop the StemPrintER technology for the prediction of disease recurrence in breast cancer patients.

Tissue products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) raised £14.6m at a share price of 0.25p. This was much-needed cash because existing funds were about to run out.

A share placing by Open Orphan (ORPH) at 11p a share raised £12m after expenses. This will help to finance services for COVID-19 vaccines and tests, as well as more laboratory facilities.

Digital TV technology provider Mirada (MIRA) has extended the term for its revolving credit facility by 12 months to the end of November 2021. Earlier this month, Mirada launched a lower cost version of its technology. Iris in Swift Mode is a pre-packaged platform.

Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) has acquired the Eddie Stobart brand from Stobart Group (STOB), which will have to change its name, for £10m. An annual fee of £3m was payable for the brand. This will be saved from now on. There have been some reductions in activity due to COVID-19, but grocery and e-commerce demand remain strong.

Cash shell Summerway Capital (SWC) has £5.55m in the bank as it continues to seek an acquisition.

MAIN MARKET

Contango Holdings (CGO) has published a prospectus relating to the acquisition of the Lubu coal project. The potential deal was announced more than one year ago. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share in January will finance costs and initial investment in the Lubu project. Readmission is expected on 18 June.

The Takeover Panel Executive has denied Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier’s attempt to lapse its offer. Brigadier has asked for the ruling to be reviewed.

Pure Gold Mining Inc (PUR) has secured a $15m investment at $1.52 a share. This will be invested in the Red Lake Mine.

Loans to Shefa Gems (SEFA) totalling £1.25m have been converted at a premium to the market price. The shares issued account for 14.5% of the enlarged share capital.

Andrew Hore

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