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Open Orphan opens walk-in challenge trial sites in London and Manchester to help coronavirus research

The new site at Whitechapel is the first at street level

Open Orphan PLC -

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has opened two new walk-in recruitment centres to screen potential volunteers for challenge trials in East London and central Manchester.

The new sites, which are part of a planned expansion of trials in 2021, include a repurposed former coffee shop at the street level of Queen Mary BioEnterprise Innovation Centre (QMB) in Whitechapel, East London.

The QMB centre currently houses subsidiary hVIVO's current 24-bedroom quarantine clinic, but the new site is the first to be located at street level where volunteers can walk straight in for screening.

With the new site, the QMB facility can offer 520 volunteer recruitment visit slots per week. The central Manchester site will have the capacity for 100 visits per week.

Open Orphan has seen a big rise in demand for challenge trials as companies and health bodies search for treatments and vaccines for coronavirus (COVID-19) and also just to understand better how the virus affects people.

In a statement, Cathal Friel, Open Orphan’s executive chairman, said: “The current pandemic has forced many businesses to close and we are able to provide another use for these spaces not currently in use. These spaces presented an opportunity for us to open street-level volunteer recruitment centres quickly and efficiently.

“The number of volunteers required by hVIVO is increasing rapidly in line with the number of studies the company is running, and these two additional centres will allow us to increase our capacity substantially in the year ahead.”

Open Orphan added it is looking for trial volunteers and anyone interested can learn more at: www.flucamp.com/what-is-screening/.

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