Specialist pharmaceutical services clinical research company Open Orphan has appointed Yamin 'Mo' Khan as its chief executive with immediate effect.

Mr Khan joined the company's board as a non-executive director in October 2021 and has worked closely with the team since then.

Executive Chairman Cathal Friel will continue in his role under the new management structure.

Mr Khan previously worked at Pharm-Olam International, a global contract research organisation, for 19 years from 2000-2019. He worked across a variety of senior positions including Executive Vice President of Clinical Development and Global Director of Clinical Operations.

Before that he worked at Innovex and Quintiles CRO.

Cathal Friel said that in the few short months since he joined the company, Mr Khan has shared his invaluable experience and knowledge of the CRO industry to the benefit of the company.

"With substantial growth across the global infectious and respiratory disease market, the company has experienced a significant increase in human challenge study contract negotiations," Mr Friel said.

"The appointment of Mo as CEO adds considerable CRO experience and expertise to our contract negotiations and will allow me to focus my attention on other areas of the business to deliver shareholder value and it is my intention to remain very hands on and involved in the business as we go forward," he added.

Open Orphan is a rapidly growing contract research company which tests vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials. It provides services to Big Pharma, biotech, and government/public health organisations.