TIDMORPH

RNS Number : 0135Z

Open Orphan PLC

20 January 2022

20 January 2022

Open Orphan plc

("Open Orphan" or the "Company")

New Malaria Human Challenge Model Launched

First volunteers inoculated with Malaria human challenge virus

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge clinical trials announces that further to the announcement on 9 August 2021, hVIVO, a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has inoculated the first cohort of volunteers with a GMP-manufactured malaria challenge agent as part of its first controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) challenge study. This study will assess CHMI using existing standard of care antimalarial drugs against

Plasmodium   malaria. 

The study, which is taking place at hVIVO's state-of-the-art facilities in London, is expected to complete in Q1 2022 with results in Q2 2022. For the study, hVIVO has leveraged its extensive experience in clinical trial recruitment, via its clinical trial recruitment arm FluCamp, to identify and screen volunteers to rapidly enrol the study cohort. Following the successful completion of the study, hVIVO will be able to sign malaria human challenge study contracts to assess the efficacy of novel antimalarial drugs and vaccines as well as correlates

of immunity using a Plasmodium   challenge agent. 

hVIVO's Direct Venous Inoculation ("DVI") clinical trial protocol was reviewed by all necessary UK regulatory bodies and fully approved prior to the start of the study. Expert diagnostic services from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been contracted to monitor the welfare of subjects and provide essential correlates relating to drug and vaccine efficacy. Additionally, comprehensive training programmes have been completed by staff and senior professional oversight put in place for the review of scientific and safety data.

This malaria challenge model consists of inoculating volunteers with purified, infectious P. falciparum (Pf) sporozoites, harvested from the salivary glands of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. This type of malaria challenge model has been safely used in multiple clinical trials in the United States, Europe and Africa.

Conducting malaria modelling with Plasmodium in antimalarial drug and vaccine trials has several potential advantages over traditional methods of P. falciparum infected mosquito challenge, including superior predictability, a cleaner safety profile and improved control over levels of infection.

Learn more about hVIVO's Malaria human challenge model here www.hvivo.com/clinical-development-services/hvivo-challenge-models/malaria/ or if you are interested in participating in a Malaria human challenge study or any other human challenge study visit www.flucamp.com

Adrian Wildfire, Director of Scientific & Business Strategy at hVIVO, said: " Malaria is a disease of significant unmet need around the world, with 241 million cases and 627,000 deaths caused in 2020. Its prevention and cure is a designated World Health Organization target. As such, we are pleased to have commenced this study to allow our clinical teams to better acquaint themselves with the recently established Controlled Human Malaria Infection model, ahead of using human challenge studies to test our clients' malaria products. Data resulting from such studies translates well into the field and malaria human challenge studies have been pivotal to the development of many of the novel drugs now entering late phase trials. "

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said : "We are delighted to have inoculated the first cohort of volunteers for the Malaria study at our QMB facility in London. hVIVO is fully committed to growing the malaria model's capabilities and capacity over the coming years to meet the challenge of accelerating the introduction of novel, safe and effective drugs and vaccines to the market.

"This study also ensures that Open Orphan is both strengthening and further diversifying the Company's world leading portfolio of viral challenge models. We look forward to updating the market in due course."

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.

Individuals interested in taking part in COVID-19 human challenge study research can learn more at www.UKCovidChallenge.com .

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 / Louisa Waddell 
 
 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)                                                     +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or openorphan@walbrookpr.com 
 Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson                        +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 pharmaceutical service/contract research organisation 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 and its state-of-the-art 24-bedroom QMB clinic with its highly specialised on-site virology and immunology laboratory. Open Orphan has a leading portfolio of human challenge study models for infectious and respiratory diseases and is developing a number of other models. There has been an explosion in the growth of the infectious disease pharmaceuticals market, which is estimated to grow to in excess of $250bn by 2025. The Group is focused on refreshing its existing challenge models and develop new models, such as Malaria, to address the dramatic growth potential of the global infectious disease market.

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(R) 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.

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.

About Malaria

Malaria is a serious and life-threatening disease prevalent across much of tropical and sub-tropical Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to increasing resistance to current antimalarial regimens, new drugs are required as both stand-alone and partner therapies to address a growing unmet medical need. In addition, novel combinations of existing drugs may be required to fill the gap until pipeline candidates can be safely progressed to market. New drugs and combination therapies are required to not only reduce mortality and morbidity in susceptible, primarily paediatric populations, but also to help the move towards a greater goal of malaria elimination.

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