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Open Orphan’s rapid growth continues with Covid-19 antibody test deal (ORPH)

Open Orphan

Shares in the Anglo-Irish rare drug company Open Orphan (LSE:ORPH) have been flying recently and should continue to move higher following the release of a new deal today. 

Open Orphan will provide a new UK Covid-19 antibody test by partnering with Swiss pharma firm Quotient (NASDAQ:QTNT). Quotient has an antibody microarray system called MosaiQ, a specialist tool used to detect thousands of DNA expressions at the same time. 

Quotient has entered into an exclusive contract with Open Orphan subsidiary hVIVO to support COVID-19 antibody testing in the UK.

“This collaboration is uniquely positioned to leverage our combined expertise, and helps address the large need for antibody testing in the UK and beyond.” said Quotient CEO Franz Walt.

ORPH started 2020 in reasonable shape, with shares trading at a cheap 4.85p. Things really started to take off just before Covid-19 lockdowns hit the world, with chairman Cathal Friel pushing through a series of deals detailing up to $7.7m in revenue, all realised this year. 

That includes a $3.5m US human challenge study contract for respiratory viruses revealed in early May and a $3.2m March contract with a European biotech firm. 

Executive chairman Cathal Friel noted: 

We are delighted to exclusively partner with Quotient Limited to bring fast and accurate COVID-19 antibody testing to the UK. Open Orphan plc, via our subsidiary hVIVO, has industry leading scientific and laboratory capability and the MosaiQ™ system’s best in class COVID-19 antibody testing performance makes the system a natural addition to our state-of-the-art virology laboratory in London. 

“There is clear demand for Covid-19 antibody testing and we will be making testing available as a standalone offering. We will also utilise the testing capability to screen volunteers for our industry-leading range of human challenge studies.”

Open Orphan has blown past our early May price target of 10p and we are now raising our conservative target for the end of next quarter to 20p. 

The shares are now changing hands for 13p and in our opinion should be re-rated higher shortly. 

The Anglo-Irish pharma group added that finnCap had been appointed its new join broker with immediate effect. This is another strong sign for Open Orphan.

The investment bank has raise large expansion funds for other Covid-19 testing and treatment candidates. That includes £14m for Synairgen (LSE:SNG) to fund a Phase II trail of its interferon beta-based Covid-19 treatment candidate and £7m for molecular diagnostic developer Genedrive (LSE: GDR), helping it to fund the development of two Covid-19 diagnostic tests

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  • Tom Rodgers does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.
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