Leading Clinical Trials Services

Providing streamlined respiratory clinical research processes for our clients, VirTus is committed to creative problem-solving and a bespoke academic approach in medical research. We describe ourselves as having ‘an academic brain with a CRO’s body’ – our clinical research services deliver a unique blend of world-class healthcare expertise and professional commercial management.

Find out more about our clinical research and clinical trials services.

Clinical Research Services with VirTus

The clinical testing and medical research you want, conducted to the highest standards. Partnering with VirTus to perform clinical research involves just one contract. After that, we do the rest.

We believe in flexible processes and creative problem-solving in clinical studies. This means that, whether you’re a multinational pharma company or a small biotech, we dovetail with you to align with your operational needs. As a client and trusted partner, you can be sure of the most advanced health technologies combined with patient and rigorous medical research.

Our Clinical Trials Services

Clinical Trial Management

Study design, regulatory oversight, insightful reporting, data capturing, analysis, and more: our management of clinical research services is second to none.

Human Challenge Trials

Explore exciting new opportunities of virus challenge models for the development of groundbreaking asthma and COPD exacerbation treatments or antivirals.

Cutting-edgeVaccine Trials

Having worked extensively on antibody responses to vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer unrivalled expertise in in vivo / in vitro vaccine testing.

Clinical Laboratory Services

Medical research conducted in some of the highest-quality laboratory facilities available worldwide. Experience the very best in clinical trial support.

Clinical Development Consultancy

As a trusted partner, we’ll communicate with you to ensure our clinical research services meet your expectations. Every one of our clients receives personalised and timely consultation.

Why Choose VirTus?

Whether you’re a large pharmaceutical enterprise, or a young biotech startup, there are countless reasons to partner with us for clinical research services. Here are just a few:

Clinical Trial Support

We are there to consult and communicate with you at every stage of our clinical trial support. Our team of specialists will walk you through the health technologies we deploy, and you can be sure of leading expertise to support your clinical studies.

Academic’s Brain with a CRO’s Body

Clinical trials services combining a unique blend of high-quality respiratory medicine with experienced commercial know-how. Our approach is focussed on state-of-the-art clinical research that translates into new drugs for respiratory viral infections, asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Accelerated NME Development

Conventional clinical development of new medical entities (NMEs) requires massive logistical organisation and significant time to carry out. VirTus, however, works differently: we conduct human virus challenge studies to deliver rapid proof of concept and mechanism with significantly less cost.

Proven Expertise

Our track record in clinical trials services and respiratory medical research speaks for itself. Our founders have a history of collaboration stretching back 20+ years, amassing unrivalled expertise in COPD and asthma – alongside other respiratory – research and health technologies.

Flexible Processes

VirTus is proud to offer unique flexibility, proactivity and adaptability to its clients. Instead of offering rigid processes, we take the time to understand your needs, and integrate seamlessly with your operations.

A World-class Team

Our team is composed of highly-skilled experts with a diverse and nuanced range of experience. VirTus offers unmatched integrity, professional management skills, scientific rigour and leading clinical research services.

Leading Clinical Testing Facilities

Utilising the globally-renowned medical infrastructure of Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, and our own bespoke laboratories, you can take confidence that your clinical testing will be carried out in some of the finest facilities in the world.

Therapeutic Research Areas

Our human challenge models of medical research provide the most sophisticated approach to exacerbations in COPD, asthma and specific or broad spectrum antiviral medicines.

Rhinovirus Challenge Models

We’re able to provide the rhinovirus (RV) challenge model with the following volunteer groups:
  • Healthy non-smokers
  • Smokers without airway obstruction
  • Patients with asthma
  • Patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Healthy older persons
  • Patients with chronic cough

RSV Challenge Models

We’re able to provide the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) challenge model with the following volunteer groups:

  • Healthy non-smokers
  • Healthy older persons

In addition to the above, we offer the following sampling techniques to complement our models:

Lower Airways

  • Lung function/Spirometry
  • Histamine (PC20) challenge
  • Bronchial biopsy
  • Primary bronchial epithelial cell brushings including culture ex vivo
  • Synthetic absorptive matrix (SAM) sampling of lower airways (broncho sorption)
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
  • Induced sputum
  • Immune cell analysis in lower airways by state-of-the-art flow cytometry

Upper Airways

  • Nasal curettage for gene expression or flow cytometry
  • Nasal brushings including culture ex vivo
  • Synthetic absorptive matrix (SAM) sampling of nasal mucosa (nasosorption)
  • Immune cell analysis in upper airways

Over the years, the clinical trials services, medical research and publications we’ve contributed to have been featured in world-renowned journals and presented at international conferences.

Our Founders

Since 2001, the VirTus founders have worked together in a range of academic and commercial environments, bringing their skills and expertise to bespoke clinical trials services.

Professor Sebastian Johnston

Director & Chief Medical Officer

Dr Michael Edwards

Managing & Scientific Director

Preclinical R&D and Research Services

At VirTus, we aren’t limited to clinical testing and clinical research services: we’re also expert providers of preclinical R&D and research services. In the development of drugs and new medicines, preclinical studies (sometimes known as nonclinical studies) is an essential stage that involves feasibility verification, iterative testing, data collection, among other laboratory-based elements.

Find out more about our preclinical research services.


Supporting Innovative Clinical Trials Research

Our medical research has been published in high profile journals and presented at several international conferences. To view some of the publications that have used our virus challenge models, please click here.



The overall infection rate of our current stock of rhinovirus is 82% in asthmatics, COPD and healthy volunteers.

Got any questions? Email info@virtus-rr.com or call us on 0207 554 5855

Keep Updated With Our Progress

Keep up with the latest results, news and other headlines from Virtus Respiratory Research.