Business Person of the Month

Business Person of the Month December: Cathal Friel, Chair and co-founder of Hvivo, steers continued growth for company

By Business & Finance
08 January 2024
Pictured: Cathal Friel, Chair and co-founder of Hvivo.

Cathal Friel is Chair and co-founder of Hvivo which has recently signed a 7.3M euro contract with a biotechnology firm. He is our Business Person of the Month for December 2023, in association with KPMG.

The Irish-founded pharmaceutical services firm, Hvivo, formerly Open Orphan, has signed a 7.3M euro contract with a biotechnology company. Hvivo will test the biotechnology company’s antiviral candidate with human challenge trials. Hvivo specialises in testing infectious and respiratory disease vaccines and therapeutics using human challenge trials. CEO of Hvivo, Yamin Khan, said: ‘Our human challenge trials can provide quick efficacy data, that has the potential to significantly enhance the value of our clients’ assets, something which is critical in the current tight biotech investment landscape.’ Hvivo plc was successfully IPO’d on the London and Dublin stock exchanges in June 2019. The company plans to open a larger facility in London due to a growing demand for their services and will enable Hvivo to conduct more challence trials concurrently.

Cathal Friel

Friel is also Chair of Poolbeg Pharma Plc, Co-Founder of Amryt Pharma plc. and Managing Director of Raglan Capital. Friel began working to help run the family business at an early age due to a family illness and went on to complete his education by taking night classes. In 1990, he received an MBA from the University of Ulster. Friel lectured International Marketing and Business Planning at the University of Ulster on a part-time basis for the following five years while simultaneously running his own technology business.

In 2001, Friel was part of the team that 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.

Business Person of the Month

The Business Person of the Month Award, in association with KPMG, recognises outstanding leaders in Irish business. It especially acknowledges those who have made significant contributions to the business community of Ireland.

Recipients of the award are automatically put forward as candidates for the prestigious Business Person of the Year Award at the annual Business & Finance Awards.

Business & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, rewards excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award. This award seeks to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and, particularly, those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.


November 2023: Barry Napier oversees acquisition of majority stake by Softbank in Cubic Telecom

October 2023: Liam Casey stakes claim to tech success with ambitious plans for Slendertone

September 2023: Tony Smurfit oversees merger of Smurfit Kappa and WestRock

August 2023: Ger Rabbette, CEO of Uniphar, achieves organic gross profit growth