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UK's hVIVO to merge with Irish pharma services company Open Orphan

London-based hVIVO PLC is acquiring Irish pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan PLC in an all-stock reverse merger.

Under the agreement, hVIVO shareholders will receive 2.47 new Open Orphan shares for each hVIVO share they hold.

hVIVO — which offers research services and is developing a clinical trial platform for drug and vaccine development in respiratory and infectious diseases — will own about 44.67% of the combined company, while Open Orphan will own the remaining part.

Open Orphan said in a regulatory filing that the merger will save costs with each business providing complementary services with limited overlap in existing functions and customers. The companies expect the merger to expand the combined entity's geographical presence through acquisitions.

The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of the two companies, is subject to the approval of Open Orphan shareholders, among other things.

Earlier in the year, privately held Venn Life Sciences Holdings PLC acquired Open Orphan in a reverse takeover for £5.7 million and changed its name to Open Orphan PLC.