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Open Orphan investee company showcases mosquito vaccine results in Lancet

The pharma services company has 49% of the drug developer Imutex

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Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said that a company in which it has a significant stake has been given a platform in a world-leading medical journal for its early-stage vaccine results.

Imutex Limited is developing AGS-v, a mosquito saliva treatment for diseases such as zika, malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Results of a phase I trial, carried in the prestigious Lancet publication, showed it to be safe while inducing a strong immune response in the healthy volunteers that took part in the assessment.

AGS-v, which is designed to provoke a reaction against mosquito saliva, rather than any specific parasites, viruses, or bacteria the insect might transmit, is now ready to move into phase II.

In a statement, Imutex chief executive Gregory Stoloff said he was “excited” with the data from the synthetic saliva.

“This makes a vaccine that can protect people against so many diseases that plague the world, a step closer to reality,” he added.

Open Orphan chairman Cathal Friel noted that the trial “confirmed and reinforced” the company’s belief that its 49% shareholding in Imutex had a lot of “unrealised potential value”.

Open Orphan has been one of a handful of healthcare success stories during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown. Its hViVO operation has launched a best-in-class coronavirus testing service and has a London quarantine clinic with an onsite virology lab that can be used by makers of COVID vaccines.

The pharma services specialist said last week that its Venn Life Sciences division has won a “major contract” with a leading vaccine developer and one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Quick facts: Open Orphan PLC

Price: 12.5 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £82.98 m


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