Specialist pharmaceutical services clinical research company Open Orphan is opening a new primary FluCamp volunteer recruitment screening facility in London and a secondary FluCamp recruitment facility in Manchester.

Open Orphan tests vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials.

It provides services to Big Pharma, biotech, and government/public health organisations.

The company said the new facilities will double its previous volunteer screening capacity, significantly boosting its ability to identify and enrol study volunteers and patients and further strengthening its world leading human challenge capabilities.

In a trading update today, Open Orphan said it expects both revenues and EBITDA for the year to the end of December to be in line with the expectation detailed at the time of the interim results.

"Accordingly the company expects 2021 to be EBITDA positive with revenues of approximately £40m. Cash and cash equivalents as of 31 December 2021 was £15.6m (30 June 2021: £14.9m)," it said.

It also said it expects to be in line with management expectations for year-ending 31 December 2022, targeting revenues in the region of £50m in non-Covid-19 work.

Covid-19 revenue for 2022 will be in addition to this and will depend on the eventual timing of the company's studies, it added.

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said that despite difficult market conditions during the year, which have continued into 2022, he was pleased with the performance of the Open Orphan team.

He said that during the year the company signed an "impressive" number of human challenge study contracts with Big Pharma and biotechnology clients.

"We have continued our strong work at the start of this year, and our new facilities in both London and Manchester will not only enable the company to screen a greater number of potential volunteers, it will also increase our total bed count to 62," Mr Friel said.

"Considering the greater size and functionality of the new facilities, as well as their cost, the company has executed the expansion in a highly cost-efficient manner," he added,

Open Orphan's new chief executive Yamin Khan said the company's new facilities will double its volunteer screening capacity and importantly, expand on its already world leading clinical trial and laboratory services offering.

"As a result of the changes, we have the potential to expand the scope of our business as we head into a crucial period of substantial growth across the infectious disease market," the CEO said.

"I believe we are now very well positioned with an enhanced clinical trial offering and unique volunteer and patient recruitment capacity, which will enable us to serve an increasing pool of Big Pharma and biotechnology clients seeking to test novel therapeutics against different infectious and respiratory diseases," he added.