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Attached is the Chairman's address to the Annual General Meeting of Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY), to be held at 4.00pm today.
Annual General Meeting
of Starpharma Holdings Limited, 14 November, 2008
Welcome to the Starpharma AGM for the fiscal year 2007-2008, which marks my sixth as Chairman of the Board.
I am very pleased to be able to once again address you - our Company's shareholders - on the key highlights and milestones achieved throughout the year.
Three pursuits in particular have formed the focus of the Company's activities to great success. These are:
- the commercialisation of Starpharma's technology;
- the clinical development of VivaGel)R_ as both a condom coating and a vaginal microbicide for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections; and
- the advancement of drug delivery applications of dendrimers.
Last year we were excited to report the early stages of Starpharma's partnering with SSL International - the world's leading marketer of condoms. Starpharma signed a codevelopment agreement for a VivaGel-coated condom which this year was progressed to a full stage licensing deal.
This was a significant achievement. The agreement secures SSL marketing rights to the VivaGel coated condom in most of the world including Europe and the USA, concurrently providing Starpharma with significant global coverage and an opportunity to build VivaGel brand awareness.
We estimate the deal will deliver the Company more than A$100m in royalties, further milestone payments and development support, and is a relatively near-term opportunity. I'd like to congratulate Jackie and her team as I know the time that went in to converting the deal into a long term commercial opportunity.
As well as commercial success the clinical development of Starpharma's technology also produced favourable results during the year with the Company's researchers showing that the active ingredient of VivaGel - SPL7013 - already well into clinical development for HIV and genital herpes applications, is also active against human papillomavirus or HPV. This is an important development for human health as most cases of cervical cancer are caused by previous infection with HPV.
To date, all programs involving VivaGel have shared the underlying goal: To prevent the initial invasion by an infectious virus. Last year marked the first move from prevention to treatment of an existing infection, with the finding that VivaGel was active against bacterial vaginosis, a common cause of infection caused by the overgrowth of certain bacteria.
As our clinical research continues we are excited to see new possibilities for additional applications of VivaGel emerge, serving to further validate the widespread potential of Starpharma's technology.
We continue to investigate the research activities of for DNT to ensure an avenue to exploit the non-pharmaceutical applications of dendrimers. Whereas SPL7013 or similar molecules are the basis of most of our pharmaceutical applications programs, the programs under way at DNT are using different members of the dendrimer class of molecules.
Our programs are wide-ranging, giving some idea of the versatility provided by the unique structure and properties of dendrimers. For example a contract with the US Department of Defence and in collaboration with the Central Michigan University Research Corporation has allowed us to undertake a program in which dendrimers are used to clean up contamination from ground water and to improve the properties of inks and cosmetics - highlighting the potential for our dendrimer technology to be used outside the realm of strictly medical applications.
Before closing, I can't ignore the current volatility of the domestic and global markets. We are operating in a financial market environment unprecedented in our lifetimes and certainly in the life of Starpharma. We are certainly not immune to the devastating effects this environment is having on company values. However whilst the public markets remain uncertain, we remain very certain about what we need to achieve with the company and VivaGel in the near future and we remain committed to the rapid pursuit of our commercial goals. I am confident the year ahead will be a significant one for Starpharma as we near the launch of our first VivaGel product.
Finally, I wish to thank the Starpharma directors, Jackie Fairley and her management team for their extraordinary efforts towards achieving our business goals. Their hard work has enabled Starpharma to achieve significant milestones this past year through the individual programs that are well under-way.
I also thank all members of the wider Starpharma team. We have confidence that the Company's progress will continue and prosper into the next fiscal year under their guidance and endeavour.
Peter T. Bartels
About Starpharma Holdings Limited
Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY) is a world leader in the development of dendrimer nanotechnology for pharmaceutical, life-science and other applications. SPL is principally composed of two operating companies, Starpharma Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Australia and Dendritic Nanotechnologies, Inc in Michigan, USA. Products based on SPL's dendrimer technology are already on the market in the form of diagnostic elements and laboratory reagents.
The Company's lead pharmaceutical development product is VivaGel(R) (SPL7013 Gel), a vaginal microbicide designed to prevent the transmission of STIs, including HIV and genital herpes.
For more information, please click here
Dr Jackie Fairley
Chief Executive Officer
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