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Venn Life Sciences seals Open Orphan alliance on rare diseases

The clinical trials group plans to issue £1mln in privately-held loan notes to fund an increased focus on orphan diseases

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Venn and Orpham have agreed to commit to resource sharing and joint marketing

Venn Life Sciences PLC (LON:VENN) on Tuesday said it had formed a strategic collaboration with Open Orphan as part of a move to increase its focus on rare diseases.

The clinical trials group also announced plans to issue £1mln in privately-held loan notes to fund an increased focus on orphan diseases.

READ: Venn Life Sciences holds just over a quarter of new AIM listing Integumen

Venn Life Sciences said the two companies had agreed to commit to resource sharing and joint marketing to achieve a stronger commercial position in that rare diseases market.

The company said a group of private individuals had been identified as offering the best source of funds and that they had subscribed for a two-year loan note with a 10% coupon. The interest on the notes would be paid biannually, it added.

Venn said as part of the agreement Open Orphan’s Cathal Friel would become its new chair, while Brendan Buckley would join as non-executive director. Venns’ current chairman Allan Woodwill retire, as will director Mary Sheahan, the company said.

"The development of areas of specialisation is critical if we are to position Venn as a higher value business relative to our peers. We envisage the development of a number of areas of specialisation and orphan and rare technologies represent a logical starting point for us,” Venn CEO Tony Richardson said in a statement.

Shares in Venn were 8.6% down at 2.01p in early afternoon trade.
 

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