Open Orphan plc changes its name to hVIVO plc, learn more here.

World leader in Human
Challenge Trials

We are hVIVO a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials. We provide end-to-end early clinical development services for our broad and long-standing client base of global biopharma companies.

Lab technician dropping liquid into multiple test tubes

Extensive history in conducting & running human challenge trials

We have an extensive history in conducting & running human challenge trials, which has contributed to our position as world leaders in human challenge research and execution.

In 2011, we opened our laboratory, screening and 24-bedroom quarantine facilities to Queen Mary BioEnterprises in Whitechapel, London. In 2021, our quarantine facilities expanded to a hotel located in Whitechapel (the Whitechapel Clinic), offering volunteers a state-of-the-art clinical trial experience. Since then, we have expanded our facilities further, moving our corporate offices to Plumbers Row, offering an expansion to our laboratory facilities and opened additional screening clinics in both London and Manchester.

Healthcare worker speaking with a clinical trial volunteer
Delivering today’s healthcare by empowering tomorrow’s innovation.
To transform global healthcare by revolutionising the drug development process through scientific ingenuity.

Over 25 years of conducting human challenge studies

Our services are provided and tailored for both pharmaceutical and biotech companies, utilising a range of different human challenge models and laboratory methodologies Our extensive experience, collected over 25 years of conducting challenge studies, ensures effective study design and excellent service for customers.

Leading portfolio of 11+ challenge study models

We have a leading portfolio of 11+ challenge study models which include various strains of: Influenza A & B, RSV, HRV, Asthma, Cough, COPD, COVID-19, hMPV & Malaria.

Challenge Models

Highly specialised virology and immunology lab services

We offer laboratory services through our hLAB unit, based in Whitechapel, London. Our hLab is a highly specialised virology and immunology laboratory offering a suite of services to support pre-clinical and clinical respiratory drug and vaccine discovery & development.

Reliable laboratory analysis underpinned by scientific expertise is essential when processing and analysing clinical samples. Robust quality processes support our team of scientists in the delivery of submission ready data.

Lab Services

Key performance stats


Challenge Study Models


Years of Combined Service


Number of Studies Completed 

What our sponsors say

Healthcare worker with protective gear taking the temperature of trial volunteer

Access to healthy volunteers through FluCamp

One of our distinct advantages in our human challenge trial research is access to healthy volunteers , which are recruited through our volunteer recruitment arm, FluCamp.

FluCamp welcomes volunteers take part in our human challenge trials under expertly supervised conditions, to further medical research and help take the understanding of respiratory, viral, and other infectious diseases to a new level.

Group companies overview

In January 2020, hVIVO merged with Open Orphan plc, a rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services company.

On 26 October 2022, Open Orphan plc changed its name to hVIVO plc to maximise its brand recognition as the world leader in human challenge trials. hVIVO is now the parent company of Venn Life Sciences, an integrated drug development consultancy, which offers CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls), preclinical, Phase I & II clinical trials design and execution. Together the companies offer a full service solution, from consultancy and drug development, to running the human challenge model.

Building on decades of unrivalled experience, we provide world class expertise and capabilities in challenge agent manufacture, a unique portfolio of established human challenge models to test a broad range of infectious and respiratory disease products, and specialist drug development and clinical consultancy services.

Venn Life Sciences
Two lab technicians inspecting test tubes

Venn Life Sciences is an Integrated Drug Development partner offering a unique combination of drug development consultancy, clinical trial design and execution.

Visit Venn Life
Healthcare worker speaking with a clinical trial volunteer
FluCamp logo

FluCamp welcome volunteers to take part in our clinical trials under expertly supervised conditions.

Visit FluCamp
Syringe inserted into medicine bottle
Imutex logo

We formed a Joint Venture in 2016 with PepTcell Limited called Imutex Limited, with hVIVO owning 49%, to develop vaccines against influenza (flu) and mosquito borne diseases such as Zika, Malaria and other flaviviruses.

Visit Imutex

Brief History

We have an extensive history, that dates back to the UK Common Cold Unit in Salisbury which ran human challenge studies from 1946 until 1989. The facility was a former military hospital that was donated by Harvard University and began human challenge studies to try to find a cure for influenza.

Our company's founders, Professor John Oxford and Pat Meeking, worked at the Common Cold Unit alongside Dr David Tyrell, and after it closed, went on to setup Retroscreen Virology Limited out of Queens Mary University in 1989.

Retroscreen, renamed hVIVO in 2015 as part of its IPO on the London Stock Exchange, continues its challenge study work right up to the present day. We are now the world leader in providing human challenge studies to test infectious and respiratory product and we have the widest portfolio of challenge models available in influenza (A & B), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human rhinovirus (HRV), asthma, COPD, cough, malaria, COVID-19 and most recently hMPV. A number of the same techniques used at the Common Cold Unit are still used by us today, though needless to say they have modernised.

Environmental, Social & Governance – Our Sustainability Efforts

Our Approach

At hVIVO, we understand the vital role we play in making infectious and respiratory disease products available to patients faster than otherwise possible, using human challenge trials. With origins dating back to 1947, hVIVO has a long history of scientific research and discovery which has helped to advance global health.

Our most valuable asset is our team, and we strive to promote a diversified and welcoming environment which allows our team to thrive. We are committed to ethical and compliant business practices, from the execution of our clinical trials to our interactions with our volunteers, clients, sponsors, vendors, and investors.

We understand our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment whenever possible, we strive to minimise our carbon footprint through energy efficiencies, local and sustainable suppliers, and waste reduction.

hVIVO's Values

Commitment to ethical & compliant business practices
We operate our trials in the highest quality safety, regulatory and ethical environment. We are committed to honesty, transparency and quality which is embedded in our Clinical Governance Policy and Business Code of Ethics.
Advancing Health & Research
Infectious diseases are a significant burden to global health, and hVIVO plays an important role in helping to bring vital vaccines & antivirals to the market faster than otherwise possible, using human clinical trials.
Commitment to Volunteers & Patients
We place volunteers and patients at the heart of our business and carefully safeguard their wellbeing in clinical research and data protection, and ensure that their feedback is heard so that we can continually improve our processes.
Commitment to our staff
Our employees are the key to our success; in line with our Diversity & Equal Opportunities Policy, we are focussed on building a strong corporate culture, with diversity and equality at the centre.
Operating sustainably
We understand our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment; as part of our Environmental Policy, we are working towards implementing measurable metrics and targets to help minimise our carbon footprint.
Our Board of Directors is made up of a diverse range of professionals who are experts in their fields. A commitment to quality and integrity filters from the Board, company wide. We are committed to maintaining & improving our quality systems and policies to exceed the standards required.

If you’re a potential customer, job seeker, health professional or an investor, find out how hVIVO can help you.

Contact hVIVO