Open Orphan appoints Dr Elaine Sullivan to its Board as Non-Executive Director

– IRELAND, Dublin –  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, today announced the appointment of Elaine Sullivan to its Board as a Non-Executive Director.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Elaine to the Open Orphan board. Her level of expertise in virology alongside her exceptional career in the industry will be an excellent addition to the Company. We look forward to working closely with Elaine who brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be invaluable addition to the Company as we now grow Open Orphan substantially in its next phase of rapid development.” said Executive Chairman, Cathal Friel.

The Company also announced that Mark Warne will be stepping down from the Board of Open Orphan on the 31st of December. Mark had been on the Board of hVIVO plc prior to its acquisition by Open Orphan and assisted with the integration of hVIVO with the Open Orphan group.

Cathal Friel commented: “We would like to thank Mark Warne for his service to the Company and for remaining on the Board to allow for a smooth integration of the companies during the transition period following the acquisition of hVIVO.”

About Dr Elaine Sullivan

Elaine is a business leader and senior scientist with international experience in the pharmaceutical industry and Biotech and is the CEO of Curadh Pharmaceuticals. Elaine has an in-depth background and knowledge of virology having received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Molecular Virology. She has been a member of the most senior R&D management teams in Lilly and AstraZeneca. Elaine also has extensive start-up experience having been a founder of Carrick Therapeutics and helped to raise over €100m of investor funds as CEO of Carrick in recent years. Elaine is a Non-Executive Director at IP Group plc and Active Biotech AB and is a member of the Supervisory Board at Evotec which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Elaine Sullivan, Incoming Non-Executive Director, Open Orphan, said: “I am delighted to join the board of Open Orphan. I have been impressed by the outstanding progress that Cathal Friel, the Board and the team have made in such a short time. I look forward to working with them in the next stage of the evolution of Open Orphan.”

About Open Orphan

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals through the use of human challenge clinical trials. Conducted from Europe’s only 24-bedroom quarantine clinic with onsite virology providing individually isolated rooms and connected to our specialist laboratory facility. The hVIVO facility offers highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug, antiviral, and vaccine discovery and development. Reliable laboratory analysis underpinned by scientific expertise is essential when processing and analysing clinical samples. Robust quality processes support our team of scientists in the delivery of submission ready data.

The Company 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. As announced in early March, Open Orphan is rapidly advancing a number of Coronavirus challenge study models and expects to be helping many COVID-19 vaccine development companies to test their vaccines. No other company in the world has such a portfolio, with only two competitors globally having 1 challenge study model each. hVIVO also works with companies in the UK and Ireland to provide COVID-19 testing to staff to protect staff and customers from a workplace COVID-19 outbreak through its COVID Clear offering.

Open Orphan comprises of two commercial specialist CRO services businesses, hVIVO and Venn Life Sciences and is also building out a valuable data platform business. hVIVO has built up one of the world’s largest databases of infectious disease progression data and we are populating our Open Orphan Health Data platform with this historical hVIVO data. In our clinical trials going forward, we are also planning to collect data on volunteer’s via wearables during clinical trials. Therefore, Open Orphan’s data, which may yield valuable digital biomarkers, could be one of the more sought-after datasets by many of the large wearables /smart watch wearables providers around the world. 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 in January 2020. Venn is an integrated drug development consultancy firm which offers CMC, 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.

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