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Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY) today announced the signing of a research and collaboration agreement between its wholly owned US subsidiary, DNT Inc, and a prominent, US-based agricultural chemicals company. The confidentiality provisions of the agreement prevent disclosure of the name of the collaborating company at this time.
Under the agreement the parties will use DNT's Priostar® dendrimer technology to enhance the performance of existing pesticides. The approach is a natural extension of Starpharma's drug delivery work, in which dendrimers extend the persistence of an active molecule, potentially reducing the amount of active that is required for a given effect.
The agreement applies to specific classes of pesticides, and does not prevent Starpharma's further commercialisation of dendrimers more widely in the agricultural chemicals sector. The global market for agricultural chemicals for 2008 was estimated to be US$123.5 billion, of which pesticides represented US$35.8 billion.
"Agricultural applications offer an exciting and significant opportunity for the Company in what is a completely new market for Starpharma's proprietary technology," said Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO Starpharma.
"Starpharma is committed to building its revenues through partnering with market leaders in selected, commercially attractive industry sectors, as this deal and our previous partnerships illustrate. This strategy allows us to rely on partners' product knowledge and market position to rapidly achieve diversification of our commercial base, whilst enabling the Company to focus its own resources on its core competencies and lead products," Dr Fairley added.
Starpharma's other areas of commercial exploitation of dendrimer technology include: sexual health (VivaGel® coated condoms - licensed to SSL International, and VivaGel® topical microbicide); drug delivery with GSK's Stiefel laboratories; in vitro diagnostics through Siemens Healthcare; laboratory reagents through Qiagen and EMD Merck; and animal health through Eli Lilly's Elanco.
American Depositary Receipts (ADRs): Starpharma's ADRs trade under the code SPHRY (CUSIP number 855563102). Each Starpharma ADR is equivalent to 10 ordinary shares of Starpharma as traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The Bank of New York Mellon is the depositary bank. Starpharma's ADRs are listed on International OTCQX (www.otcqx.com), a premium market tier in the U.S. for international exchange-listed companies, operated by Pink OTC Markets, Inc.
Forward Looking Statements
This document contains certain forward-looking statements, relating to Starpharma's business, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "promising", "plans", "anticipated", "will", "project", "believe", "forecast", "expected", "estimated", "targeting", "aiming", "set to", "potential", "seeking to", "goal", "could provide", "intends", "is being developed", "could be", "on track", or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential filings or marketing approvals, or potential future sales of product candidates. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no assurance that any existing or future regulatory filings will satisfy the FDA's and other health authorities' requirements regarding any one or more product candidates nor can there be any assurance that such product candidates will be approved by any health authorities for sale in any market or that they will reach any particular level of sales. In particular, management's expectations regarding the approval and commercialization of the product candidates could be affected by, among other things, unexpected clinical trial results, including additional analysis of existing clinical data, and new clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays, or government regulation generally; our ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry, and general public pricing pressures; and additional factors that involve significant risks and uncertainties about our products, product candidates, financial results and business prospects. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Starpharma is providing this information as of the date of this document and does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or developments or otherwise.
About Starpharma Holdings Limited
Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY) is a world leader in the development of dendrimer technology for pharmaceutical, life-science and other applications. SPL has two operating companies, Starpharma Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Australia and DNT, Inc in the USA. Products based on SPL’s dendrimer technology are already on the market in the form of diagnostic elements and laboratory reagents through licence arrangements with partners including Siemens and Merck KgA. The Company’s lead pharmaceutical development product is VivaGel® (SPL7013 Gel), a vaginal microbicide designed to prevent the transmission of STIs, including HIV and genital herpes. In September 2008 Starpharma signed a full licence agreement with SSL International plc (LSE:SSL) to develop a VivaGel® coated condom. SSL manufactures and sells Durex® condoms, the market-leading condom brand worldwide. Starpharma's receipts under the agreement are estimated to exceed A$100m comprising royalties on SSL sales, further milestone payments, and development support. In the wider pharmaceutical field Starpharma has specific programs in the areas of Drug Delivery and Drug Optimisation technologies (using dendrimers to control where and when drugs go when introduced to the body) and Targeted Diagnostics (using dendrimers as a scaffold to which both location-signalling and targeting groups are added to allow location of specific cell type, such as cancer cells).
More broadly the company is exploring dendrimer opportunities in materials science applications including water remediation.
Dendrimer: A type of precisely-defined, branched particle. Dendrimers have applications in the medical, electronics, chemicals and materials industries.
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