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Open Orphan #ORPH – Exec Chairman Cathal Friel & Non Exec Director Prof. Brendan Buckley purchase shares

The Company announces that it has received notification that, on 14 July 2021, Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of the Company, purchased 1,132,075 ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the capital of the Company (“Shares”) at a price of 26.5 pence per Share and that Prof. Brendan Buckley, Non-Executive Director of the Company, purchased 188,679 Shares at a price of 26.5 pence per Share.

Following this purchase Cathal Friel is interested in 47,087,086 Shares, representing approximately 7.0 per cent. of the Company’s issued ordinary share capital, and Brendan Buckley is interested in 8,034,539 Shares, representing approximately 1.2 per cent. of the Company’s issued ordinary share capital.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman, Open Orphan, said: “I am delighted to have now had the opportunity to increase my personal stake in Open Orphan plc by today purchasing additional shares, and am equally pleased that Brendan is joining me in doing likewise. These share purchases further demonstrates my and the Board’s commitment to the Company, and reiterates my confidence in Open Orphan’s future prospects as we enter a period where the infectious disease market is rapidly expanding and expected to grow to in excess of $250bn per annum by 2025.

“We continue to roll out new contract wins and having signed and announced this week and last week, two significant challenge study contract wins for our London office and earlier today a €900k contract win for our Breda, Netherlands office. In the past week I was also delighted to confirm that we were solidly EBITDA profitable in H1 2021 and remain on target for a profitable and successful 2021.

“Likewise, earlier today Poolbeg Pharma plc filed its Schedule One confirming that it had successfully raised £25m in fresh funds on a pre-money valuation of £25m, thus when it completes its IPO in the coming week it should be listing with a market cap of c. £50m. This is an excellent start to our strategy of spinning off and montizing our non-core assets. We plan and expect to spin off the other three non-core assets between now and year end; namely our 49% stake in Imutex, our 62.6% stake in PrEP Biopharm and Disease in Motion platform business. Thus, we have a very exciting year ahead for Open Orphan.”

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 / Richard Johnson / Oscair McGrath

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

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

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

Paul McManus / Louis Ashe-Jepson / Sam Allen

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / 07747 515 393 / 07502 558 258 


Notes to Editors

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

Open Orphan runs challenge studies in London from both its 19-bedroom Whitechapel quarantine clinic, opened in February 2021, and its 24-bedroom QMB clinic which also has a highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory on-site. Open Orphan has a leading portfolio of eight human challenge study models for conditions such as RSV, flu, asthma and COPD. In addition, Open Orphan is also developing the world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study model as part of the  Human Challenge Programme  and has signed a reservation contract with the UK Government for the first three COVID-19 vaccine challenge 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. The Disease in Motion platform has many potential applications across a wide variety of end users including big technology, wearables, pharma and biotech companies. Following COVID-19 there is now a renewed interest and investment in infectious diseases.

Open Orphan’s Paris office has been providing biometry, data management and statistics to its many European pharmaceutical clients for over 20 years. For over 15 years, the Company’s  Netherlands office has been providing drug development consultancy and services, including CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), PK and medical writing, to a broad range of European clients. Both offices are now also fully integrated with the London office and working on challenge study contracts as well as supporting third party trial  contracts .

Open Orphan (ORPH) Appoints Professor Oxford as Chair of Advisory Board, with initial focus to help guide Open Orphan in the provision of solutions to Coronavirus outbreak

Open Orphan, the rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which has a focus on orphan drugs and is a world leader in the provision of virology and vaccine challenge study servicesand has Europe’s only 24 bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology lab in Queen Mary’s Hospital London, is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor John Oxford as Chair of a newly established Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will focus initially on guiding Open Orphan in the provision of solutions to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The Advisory Board has been established to help the Company support product development for customers developing antivirals, vaccines and respiratory therapeutics, all particularly relevant and topical in the environment of heightened awareness of the Coronavirus in 2020.

Professor John Oxford, a Professor at Queen Mary’s University London and one of the world’s leading experts on global diseases such as influenza, including bird flu, SARS, MERS and Coronavirus, will Chair the Advisory Board alongside Professor Brendan Buckley, a Director of Open Orphan.

For further information please contact

Open Orphan plc

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman              

Trevor Phillips, Chief Executive Officer


+353 (0)1 644 0007

+44 (0)20 7347 5350

Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Benjamin Cryer

+44 (0)20 7614 5900

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

Anthony Farrell

+353 (0)1 679 6363

Camarco (Financial PR)

Tom Huddart / Daniel Sherwen

+44 (0)20 3757 4980

About RNS Reach announcements

This is an RNS Reach announcement. RNS Reach is an investor communication service aimed at assisting listed and unlisted (including AIM quoted) companies to distribute non-regulatory news releases into the public domain. Information required to be notified under the AIM Rules for Companies, Market Abuse Regulation or other regulation would be disseminated as an RNS regulatory announcement and not on RNS Reach.

Notes to Editors:

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which has a focus on orphan drugs and is a world leader in the provision of virology and vaccine challenge study services and viral laboratory services. It has Europe’s only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology lab in Queen Mary’s Hospital London. hVIVO supports product development for customers developing antivirals, vaccines and respiratory therapeutics, all particularly relevant and topical in the environment of heightened awareness of the Coronavirus in 2020. The company also 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.  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 (Venn and hVIVO) 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.

Open Orphan Plc (ORPH) Directorate Changes

Open Orphan, a European-focussed, rare and orphan drug consulting services platform, is pleased to announce the appointment to the board of David Kelly as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

David has extensive orphan drug company experience both in Europe and in the USA. He was Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Ireland at Horizon Therapeutics plc, a biopharmaceutical company listed on Nasdaq and headquartered in Dublin. David has an excellent combination of experience having worked in larger product focussed pharmaceutical companies and also in turning around smaller pharmaceutical companies. For example, he and his colleagues transformed AGI Therapeutics before selling it to Vidara Therapeutics which in turn was acquired by Horizon Therapeutics plc, a company with a current market capitalisation of $4.5 billion.

David also served as Senior Vice President of Warner Chilcott, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company. While at Warner Chilcott, he led the company’s successful IPO on Nasdaq. In addition, David also held roles in Elan Corporation and KPMG.

With David joining the Board and following the completion of the Company’s acquisition of Open Orphan DAC, Tony Richardson has stepped down from the Board with effect from today. The Company would like to thank him for his service as a Director.

Professor Brendan Buckley, Chairman, Open Orphan, commented:

“We are delighted that David is joining the Board of Open Orphan. He has extensive experience in the orphan drug market and we are looking forward to having David work closely with management going forward as we seek to rapidly grow the company.”

The following additional information is provided in accordance with paragraph (g) of Schedule Two to the AIM Rules for Companies and paragraph (g) of Schedule Two of the Euronext Growth Rules for Companies:


Full name: David George Kelly

Age: 58

Current Directorships / Partnerships:  Iterum Therapeutics plc, Iterum Therapeutics International Limited, Andromeda Biotech Limited, Horizon Pharma Israel Holding Corp. Limited, Horizon Pharma Investment Limited, Horizon Pharma Ireland Limited.

Past Directorships / Partnerships (past 5 years):  Horizon Pharma GMBH, Horizon Pharma Rheumatology Limited, Horizon Pharma Switzerland GMBH, Horizon Pharma Finance S.A.R.L, Horizon Pharma Services Limited, Horizon Pharma Finance Limited, Horizon Pharma Holdings 2 Limited, Hyperion Therapeutics Ireland Operating Limited, Hyperion Therapeutics Ireland Holdings Limited, Horizon Pharma Treasury Limited, Horizon Pharma Holdings Limited, Horizon Pharma Capital Limited, Hyperion Therapeutics International Operating Limited, Hyperion Therapeutics International Holdings Limited, Horizon Therapeutics plc, Horizon Pharma Aon Limited, Horizon Pharma Trí Limited, Horizon Pharma Dó Limited.


Open Orphan Plc Tel: +353 (0)1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Chief Executive Officer

Arden Partners (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7614 5900

John Llewellyn-Lloyd / Ruari McGirr / Benjamin Cryer

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker) Tel: +353 (0)1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell (Corporate Finance)

Camarco (Financial PR) Tel: +44 (0)20 3757 4980

Tom Huddart / Billy Clegg / Daniel Sherwen

Notes to Editors:

Open Orphan plc is a European-focussed, rare and orphan drug consulting services platform. The Company consists of four elements: a European clinical research organisation and consultancy; an orphan drug services business; a Virtual Rep and Data Access Platform consisting of physicians and key opinion leaders; and a Health Data Platform to partner with Patient Advocacy Groups. The Company is targeting rapid growth in one of the fastest growing sectors in the global pharmaceutical industry targeting under-supplied treatment for life threatening or very serious diseases and rare disorders.

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