Home » Open Orphan (ORPH) » Open Orphan #ORPH – Final results Reveal Record revenues and EBITDA-profitability accompanied by significant operational progress

Open Orphan #ORPH – Final results Reveal Record revenues and EBITDA-profitability accompanied by significant operational progress

Open Orphan (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces its audited final results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021.

Financial highlights

·       Record revenues of £39.0m (2020: £22.2m) achieved representing 76% growth

·       £9m improvement in EBITDA generating £2.9m (2020: £(6.1)m)

·       Cash and cash equivalents as at 31 December 2021 of £15.7m (2020: £19.2m)

·       Significant EPS improvement in 2021 to (0.01)p per share (2020: (1.80)p)

·       Order book growth of 11% to £46m future contracted revenue as at 31 December 2021 (2020: £41.6m)

Operational highlights

·     Delivered a strong and growing pipeline of new challenge study contract wins

Served four of the top 10 global biopharma companies in 2021 among a growing client base of over 60 clients

·     Substantially expanded the Group’s offering into the respiratory market signing an asthma study with a top three global pharma company

·     Completed the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study which was proven to be safe and well tolerated

·     Contract signed to manufacture a SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant challenge agent with Imperial College London, as part of a Wellcome Trust-funded initiative

·     Opened a new quarantine clinic on a capital efficient basis to facilitate the growing demand for human challenge studies. This new facility, The Whitechapel Clinic, added 19 quarantine bedrooms for future challenge studies 

·     FluCamp screened c. 84,000 volunteers for human challenge studies in 2021 (2020: c.68,000); supported by the cost-efficient expansion of volunteer recruitment centre

New London FluCamp volunteer recruitment centre – converted former coffee shop adjacent to the existing QMB facility

New Manchester FluCamp volunteer recruitment centre

·     Significant CRO experience added to the Board with the appointment of Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan as Non-Executive Director, who was appointed CEO post period end

·     In June 2021, completed a distribution in specie to the Company’s shareholders, through the demerger of certain non-core assets into Poolbeg Pharma

Post-period end highlights

·     Commenced development of a new influenza challenge model for an existing top five global pharmaceutical client and signed a £14.7m contract for the characterisation and challenge trial to follow

·     £7.3m influenza challenge trial and £5m RSV challenge trial contracts signed

·     Launched a new Malaria human challenge model and was awarded by an existing Big Pharma client to act as a vaccination site for a Phase II field study

·     Opened a new primary FluCamp volunteer recruitment facility in Whitechapel, increasing bed capacity by 44% from 43 beds to 62 beds, and opened a new Manchester volunteer recruitment centre at the same cost as the old facility, but with four times the floor space, doubling the Group’s volunteer screening capacity to 1,000 per week

Facilities expansion enables the Group to broaden the scope of the business to offer additional clinical trial services outside of its traditional core challenge study offering

Current trading and outlook

As at 1 June 2022, Open Orphan had an order book of signed contracts worth £64.2m which is expected to be recognised across 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Open Orphan’s pipeline of new opportunities continues to grow with a number of further challenge study opportunities at advanced negotiations across influenza, asthma, RSV, malaria and COVID-19. This growth is driven by the increased success and awareness of human challenge trials, and the development of new challenge models. A significant portion of our pipeline includes returning Big Pharma customers, in addition to a wider group of new clients who have observed the benefits of human challenge trials.

Our Venn Life Sciences subsidiary continues to deliver specialist drug development consultancy services across non-clinical and clinical development, pharmacology, CMC and biometry services, acting as a trusted partner to an extensive range of clients.

These developments reaffirm the Board’s expectations of a profitable growing business with revenues in the region of £50m in 2022.The Group is now well positioned and well capitalised to deliver sustainable long-term profitability.


Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said: “2021 was a milestone year for Open Orphan; the Group achieved record revenues, and recorded full year EBITDA-profitability for the first time – a significant turning point for the business. 

“The Group won a record number of human challenge study contracts, serving four of the top 10 global biopharma companies and more than 60 clients in total. We were proud to make a significant contribution to the UK Government’s response to the pandemic by completing the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study, which furthered our understanding of COVID-19 disease progression. Importantly, the Group accomplished this whilst investing in operational improvements, with volunteer screening and quarantine capacities expanded during the year.

“Post-period end, we have continued our momentum from 2021 into a strong start to trading and significant contract wins. We increased our bed count from 43 to 62, doubled our volunteer screening capacity, and also expanded the scope of our business to offer additional clinical trial services, where we have already signed our first contracts, establishing new revenue streams for the business. We also launched our new Malaria Human Challenge Model, which I believe has further consolidated our position as the leading provider of human challenge trials in infectious and respiratory disease. In my new role as CEO, I look forward to driving further growth across the business this year and converting this substantial progress into value for our shareholders.” 

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated volunteer recruitment website, www.flucamp.com. By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses. 

1 Source: Citeline Trialtrove, Jan. 2022 and Pharma R&D Annual Review; IQVIA Institute, Global Trends in R&D – Overview Through 2021; Global Data; Evaluate Pharma; Edison Investment Research; Pitchbook


For further information please contact:


Open Orphan plc

+353 (0) 1 644 0007

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 / Richard Chambers


Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell


Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen /

Louis Ashe-Jepson

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

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /

+44 (0)7747 515393

Notes to Editors

Open Orphan plc 

Open Orphan plc (London and Euronext: ORPH) is a rapidly growing contract research company that is a world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials. The Company provides services to Big Pharma, biotech, and government/public health organisations.

The Company has a leading portfolio of human challenge study models for infectious and respiratory diseases, including the recently established COVID-19 model, and is developing a number of new models, such as Malaria, to address the dramatic growth of the global infectious disease market. The Paris and Breda offices have over 25 years of experience providing drug development services such as biometry, data management, statistics CMC, PK and medical writing to third party clients as well as supporting the London-based challenge studies.

Open Orphan 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 newly opened 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. The newly opened facilities have expanded the scope of the business to enable the offering of Phase I and Phase II vaccine field trials, PK studies, bridging studies, and patient trials as part of large international multi-centre studies.

Building upon its many years of challenge studies and virology research, the Company is developing an in-depth database of infectious disease progression data. Based on the Company’s Disease in Motion® platform, this unique dataset includes clinical, immunological, virological, and digital (wearable) biomarkers.

Link here for full financial statements

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