Open Orphan inks £10.4M deal to produce new H1N1 challenge virus

Open Orphan subsidiary hVIVO has inked a 10.4 million pound sterling ($12.3 million) deal with a large, unnamed pharmaceutical company to produce a novel batch of H1N1 influenza challenge virus.

The London-based CRO said it is using an in-house challenge model virus and plans to conduct a human challenge trial with the client’s antiviral product. 

In a challenge trial, healthy patients are deliberately infected with a virus to assess the efficacy and effectiveness of an experimental vaccine.

The deal is the third human challenge contract with this particular client that the company described as a “top 5” pharmaceutical organization.

"This contract is a strong example of where human challenge studies can provide significant value,” Dr. Andrew Catchpole, hVIVO’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

Back in late 2020, Codagenix and the Serum Institute signed on with hVIVO for a phase 1 study of a single-dose intranasal vaccine booster to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In May this year, Codagenix announced the first patient had been dosed in a phase 1 clinical trial evaluate its CoviLiv intransasal drug as a booster for healthy adults who previously received approved COVID-19 vaccines.