Open Orphan signs an option to acquire CHIMagents Limited

Open Orphan plc (LON: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 it has signed an option to acquire CHIMagents Limited for a nominal sum.

CHIMagents was recently established to assist in the design, manufacture and testing of challenge agents for use in challenge studies. CHIMagents was established by an experienced team and have made great progress across a number of workstreams which will be highly valuable as part of the broader Open Orphan Group. CHIMagent’s Adrian Wildfire has over 20 years of industry experience and will join hVIVO as Director, Scientific and Business Strategy.

Under the terms of the Option, Open Orphan will have three months to exercise its option to acquire CHIMagents. Upon execution, CHIMagents will be a standalone company within Open Orphan.

CHIMagents will support hVIVO with the design, manufacture and testing of both new challenge agents and hVIVO’s industry leading portfolio of 8 existing challenge study agents. CHIMagents will also support hVIVO’s growing pipeline of challenge study clinical trials and help in accelerating the development of hVIVO’s Covid-19 challenge study clinical trials.

hVIVO’s pipeline of challenge studies is expected to grow further given the increasing importance and focus on developing vaccines and anti-virals globally. Therefore, the Option is an important strategic step for Open Orphan as it brings additional, experienced resources to the Group and will ensure that Open Orphan can meet the increased demand for its services as the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals through the use of human challenge clinical trials.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said:

“We look forward to working with Adrian Wildfire and the CHIMagents team going forward and this Option is an important strategic step for the business as we rapidly grow our pipeline of challenge studies. The work CHIMagents is undertaking in relation to COVID-19 challenge agents also complements our own work and we look forward to updating all shareholders on that workstream in due course. We have real momentum across the Group and this Option further cements our position as one of the leading service providers to the developers of vaccines and anti-virals globally.”

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