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Venn Life Sciences lands €1mln contract from French biotech

The research group will oversee a phase I/II clinical trial recruiting patients with T-cell leukaemia.

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Venn is gaining repeat business.

Venn Life Sciences (LON:VENN) said it has landed a contract worth more than €1mln with a leading French biotech.

The research group will oversee a phase I/II clinical trial recruiting patients with T-cell leukaemia.

The study will run for 33 months and take place at centres in France, the US and UK.

Venn said it won the business after successfully working with the unnamed client on a previous clinical trial.

"The €1mln project illustrates the high standard of execution for Venn's projects and how this can be used to generate repeat customer business,” said chief executive Tony Richardson.

“We have a growing client base, a strong book of business and a clear opportunity to secure more repeat business through high performance."

Venn’s bedrock business is contract research. It has 110 staff on its books and offices in five European countries.

At this size it isn’t going to go toe to toe with the sector’s big boys.

But it is winning some significant new business.

Its recent focus has been phase II clinical trials and post-approval studies.

But it strengthened its position in the market for early-stage drug development with the €6.5mln acquisition of Dutch drug consultancy Kinesis Pharma last month.

If the company’s outsourcing business provides the bedrock to the investment proposition, Venn’s Innovenn arm represents the blue sky.

Mixed metaphors aside, the business is primed and entering the commercial phase.

Its most advanced product, Labskin, is a 3D living skin equivalent that is a unique alternative to animal testing for dermatological purposes and has the ability to allow microorganisms to grow on its surface.

It is has won its first customer, an unnamed major pharma company, and is gearing up to sell the product.

However, it also has the capacity to bring testing in-house, which will complement what it already does in the contract research organisation (CRO) side of the business.

It is early days, but there are multiple applications for this innovative product.

Innovenn is also developing an anti-acne treatment that is “around six months away from being a licensable technology”, CEO Richardson said in a recent interview.

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