Open Orphan plc changed its name to hVIVO plc on 26 October 2022, learn more here.
hVIVO is led by a dynamic group of experts in their respective fields who are driving excellence throughout the organization.
Cathal Friel is a seasoned serial entrepreneur with a long‐running and successful history in business. Cathal is Managing Director of Raglan Capital and Chairman and co‐founder of hVIVO plc (formerly Open Orphan plc). Cathal is also Chairman and co‐founder of Poolbeg Pharma plc, which was created as a spin‐out of hVIVO plc in 2021. Cathal also co‐founded Amryt Pharma plc which IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange in 2016 and was successfully sold to Chiesi Farmaceutici for $1.48bn in April 2023. Prior to that, he was co‐founder and Chairman of Fastnet Oil & Gas plc, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2011. Cathal began his working career a little earlier than most by having to step in to help run the family business in 1981 at the relatively young age of 16 due to a family illness. He went on to complete his education by taking night classes and received an MBA from the University of Ulster in 1990. Cathal then spent the following five years lecturing on a part‐time basis on International Marketing and Business Planning at the University of Ulster whilst in tandem running his own technology services business. In 2001, Cathal was part of the team that successfully established Merrion Stockbrokers in Dublin. Following Merrion’s successful trade sale in 2006, he founded Raglan Capital which is renowned for building in‐house companies that are quickly listed on the public stock markets and are scaled rapidly post‐IPO generally via M&A transactions. Cathal was a finalist in the international category of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.
Mo is CEO of hVIVO with over 25 years of experience in clinical research and the CRO industry. Mo has worked as a consultant assisting CROs to develop growth strategies and helping prepare companies for future expansion, both organic and through M&A activity. In addition, Mo worked with Private Equity firms providing insight in identifying potential targets and conducting due diligence in preparation for M&A activity. Prior to this Mo had a variety of senior roles at Pharm-Olam where he played a pivotal role in growing a small niche clinical monitoring business to a global full-service CRO with offices across all continents. In his time at Pharm-Olam Mo had leading roles in Clinical Operations, Project Management, Business Development and Executive Management functions. As a key member of the Executive Team Mo participated in the successful sale of the company in 2017, delivering substantial returns to its shareholders. Prior to this he worked at Innovex and Quintiles (IQVIA).
Stephen is Chief Financial Officer at hVIVO. Having worked at the company for six years, he has developed a strong end to end understanding of the business, working across all key commercial operational decisions. During his time at the company, he helped transform the financial reporting, monthly accounts and forecasting of the business, overhauled the project accounting system, developed pricing models for all the contracts that range in value from £2m to £15m, improved pricing and margin on contracts, oversaw forecast models for mergers, acquisitions and operational performance, and supported on the restructuring of the business to improve efficiencies. Stephen has an extensive career in a range of leadership positions. Prior to joining hVIVO, he worked in Thomson Reuters for eleven years, most recently as Finance Director for Enterprise Risk Management. He holds a Honours Degree in Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Cape Town.
Andrew first studied as a virologist at the University of Warwick before then furthering his education with postgraduate studies in influenza replication at Oxford University. Since then he has applied his scientific knowledge in a commercial setting. After working as part of a multidisciplinary R&D team developing nuclear medicine research tools at GE Healthcare, he then returned to the field of virology to work for hVIVO, an industry-leading service provider of human viral challenge studies (controlled human infection studies). Andrew is now considered an expert in human viral challenge studies having played key roles in the development of influenza, RSV and HRV models at hVIVO. He has overseen the design and conduct of numerous antiviral and vaccine product efficacy studies and now works as Chief Scientific Officer, leading scientific strategy for the company as well as providing consultancy both internally and externally to hVIVO’s clients and collaborators on challenge study design and data interpretation. In addition, he was PI on a recent successfully completed DARPA-sponsored research project to utilise the challenge model to identity human biomarkers and algorithms prognostic of influenza contagiousness.
Adam brings over 18 years’ experience working in a number of roles in the Pharmaceutical and CRO industry, including project management and laboratory leadership. His love for biological sciences started from a young age and was cemented after graduating from Anglia Ruskin University in Biomedical Sciences whilst working in the labs at Huntingdon Life Sciences. There his skills for operational leadership were honed whilst working on global business change and strategy projects, before he moved on to more senior roles elsewhere. Adam joined hVIVO in 2014, where he has implemented a number of productivity and growth improvements, with a focus on operational delivery, business growth and personnel development.
Mariya has worked for hVIVO since 2014 in various roles including Viral Challenge Physician, Senior Physician/ Principal Investigator, Associate Medical Director and has been appointed in March 2021 as Medical Director. Since qualification in 1996 at the Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria Mariya specialized in General (Internal) Medicine. Mariya have wide experience in oncology, hematology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and Chronic & Preventative Care; both in Bulgaria and the UK. She is on the GMC Specialist Register for General (Internal) Medicine, and has a current ALS certificate. Mariya is an experienced pharmaceutical physician; this expertise extends to RSV challenges, Influenza, HRV and SARS-CoV-2. As PI, Mariya has been responsible for many clinical trials including RSV, SARS-CoV-2 characterisation and vaccine trials. She has developed and overseen clinical development for clients including safety and medical monitoring. She also regularly trains, supervises and supports staff and investigators.
Bruno brings a wealth of drug development and regulatory strategy experience to hVIVO (formerly Open Orphan). He has an extensive expertise in supporting global drug development programs and guiding biotech / pharma companies in their interactions with global regulators, including EMA & FDA. He is currently advising a broad range of organisations (non-profits, biotechs, large pharma) on the regulatory aspects of their drug/vaccine development, from early development to commercialisation stage. Before joining hVIVO, Bruno had a variety of roles at SGS Life Sciences, where in his last position he managed the global regulatory consultancy and modelling & simulation teams. Bruno is a bio-engineer in cel- & genetechnology from the University of Ghent in Belgium, and holds a postgraduate degree in Health Economics (EHSAL Management School, Belgium).
Teja brings 12 years’ experience of working in a number of QA GCP roles in the Clinical research & CRO industry. She has extensive experience in conducting GCP & GCLP audits, supplier audits and hosting external inspections. She has led multiple projects involving improvement of existing processes and systems, implementation of GCP compliant standards within business and regulatory gap analysis. She has worked at hVIVO since 2016 and was appointed as Head of QA in 2021. Previously she worked as a GCP Compliance manager at Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden Hospital. Teja is a pharmacist and holds M. Tech degree in Bioprocess Technology and Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Mumbai, India.