Home » Open Orphan (ORPH) » Open Orphan #ORPH – CFO appointment & change of Board roles

Open Orphan #ORPH – CFO appointment & change of Board roles

Open Orphan #ORPH (to be renamed hVIVO plc (Ticker: HVO) effective 26 October 2022), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces the appointment of Stephen Pinkerton as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and as an Executive Director, effective with immediate effect. Stephen will succeed Leo Toole who steps down from the Board and CFO role to pursue other interests. Leo will remain with the Company until 31 December 2022.

Leo was appointed to the Board and as CFO in February 2020 following the acquisition of hVIVO plc. He was a key member of the team that helped to turnaround the Company’s financial position and actively supported the Company in its engagement with the UK Government to complete the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study in 2021. 

Stephen is a chartered accountant with over 25 years of experience in senior financial roles and has served as Commercial Financial Director of hVIVO since July 2017, having previously been a consultant to the Company. Prior to joining hVIVO, Stephen spent 11 years in various senior financial roles at Thomson Reuters. He will be based in the Company’s Plumbers Row headquarters in East London alongside the Company’s CEO Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan.

Stephen has a strong background in financial planning and analysis, commercial finance, financial systems and financial control. As Commercial Financial Director of hVIVO, he has worked to transform the reporting and forecasting of the business, developed pricing models for contracts to help improve average contract value as well as driving margin improvements across the business, and has served as part of the business development team negotiating contract terms. As part of the leadership team, he has worked to help manage costs and restructure the business to improve efficiency, resulting in continued improvements in profitability.

Following the appointment of Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan as CEO on 24 February 2022, Cathal Friel is reverting to Non-Executive Chairman. Cathal remains fully committed to the business and will continue to work closely with Mo and Stephen going forward with particular focus on strategic initiatives for the Company. 

Stephen Pinkerton, Chief Financial Officer of Open Orphan plc, said: “Having worked at hVIVO for over six years, both in a permanent role and previously as a consultant, I have built a deep knowledge of the business and forged relationships with many of our longstanding clients as part of the BD team. I am excited to begin this new role as CFO of the wider group as we look to continue the fantastic momentum that we have built in recent years.” 

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan plc, said: “I am delighted that Stephen is stepping into the role of Chief Financial Officer. His experience and knowledge of the business mean he is ideally suited to support our growth strategy. I would like to thank Leo for his significant contribution to the Company over the past three years, where he has played a pivotal role in our progress to date. 

“I look forward to continuing to work with Cathal as we build on the progress that both the Company and the entire team have made over the last three years.”

Disclosures in accordance with the AIM Rules and Euronext Growth Rules (as relevant)

Stephen Pinkerton, aged 59, holds 67,364 options over ordinary shares in the Company.

Current Directorships / Partnerships

Past Directorships / Partnerships


Westfront Consultancy Limited


Stephen was a Director at HB: Source Limited from 24 January 2005 to 11 June 2010. Prior to his appointment, HB: Source Limited was pursuing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) and Stephen was appointed to support HB: Source Limited through the CVA. HB: Source Limited was unable to fulfil its obligations under the terms of the CVA and ultimately entered into a creditors voluntary liquidation (“CVL”) on 8 December 2008. The estimated amount that unsecured creditors claimed was £1,380,000.00. The company was dissolved on 11 June 2010.

Save as disclosed above, there are no other disclosures required in relation to paragraph (g) of Schedule 2 of the AIM Rules for Companies.

For further information please contact:


Open Orphan plc

+44 (0) 20 7756 1300

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Stephanie Cuthbert / Phillip Marriage /
Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0) 20 7933 8780 or  openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0) 7796 794 663 / +44 (0) 7867 984 082 /
+44 (0) 7747 515 393

Notes to Editors

Open Orphan plc  (Ticker: ORPH) is changing its name to hVIVO plc (Ticker: HVO), which is expected to take effect on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext Growth Exchange market on 26 October 2022. 

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease vaccines and therapeutics using human challenge clinical trials. The Group provides end-to-end early clinical development services to its large, established and growing repeat client base, which includes four of the top 10 largest global biopharma companies.

The Group’s fast-growing services business includes a unique portfolio of 10+ human challenge models to test a broad range of infectious and respiratory disease products, world class challenge agent manufacturing, specialist drug development and clinical consultancy services via its Venn Life Sciences brand, and a lab offering via its hLAB brand, which includes virology, immunology biomarker and molecular testing. The Group offers additional clinical field trial services such as patient recruitment and clinical trial site services.

hVIVO runs challenge studies in London from its Whitechapel quarantine clinic, its state-of-the-art QMB clinic with its highly specialised on-site virology and immunology laboratory, and its clinic in Plumbers Row. To recruit volunteers / patients for its studies, the Company leverages its unique clinical trial recruitment capacity via its FluCamp volunteer screening facilities in London and Manchester.

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