Hvivo, a Dublin and London-listed pharmaceutical company formerly known as Open Orphan, has signed a contract worth £5.2 million (€5.9m) to test an Asia-Pacific-based biotechnology company’s respiratory virus vaccine using the Irish company’s human challenge trial model.
The company said the double-blinded, placebo-controlled human challenge trial of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate will take place at Hvivo’s London quarantine facilities and is expected to begin in the second half of the year.
It is the first human challenge trial contract that Hvivo has signed with an Asia-Pacific client in more than 10 years.
RSV is the number one cause of lower respiratory illnesses in children and has been on the rise, particularly in the US, this winter.
London-based broker FinnCap said the contract “builds further revenue visibility into 2024” for Hvivo, which it estimates to be around 24 per cent of forecast revenues.
“With around 95 per cent of forecast full-year 2023 revenues now thought to be contracted it places the company in a very strong position to meet or beat full-year 2023 forecasts, with management focused on order book conversion,” the broker said.
Both FinnCap and Liberum, another London-based broker, believe Hvivo’s stock is currently undervalued. Liberum analysts said the contract marks a new period of globalisation in the demand for human challenge studies, adding that Hvivo is a “rare beast” in the small to medium cap space.
The company will publish a trading update on January 25th.