- Pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan launched a £12m share issue to fund the development Covid-19 antibody tests and vaccine study models for the disease.

New shares in the company were being offered at 11p each, a 26% discount to the company's closing price on Thursday, but a 3.8% premium to their price on 7 May, immediately before a Covid-19 partnership was announced with Quotient.

Proceeds would be used to maximise Covid-19 opportunities, including accelerating the development a virus challenge study model to capitalise on demand from Covid-19 vaccine developers globally.

The challenge study models had the ability to speed up the development of a vaccine by two-to-three years, the company said.

Funding would also help ramp up Covid-19 antiviral testing to the company's current capacity for 3,000 tests per day, among other uses.

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