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Posted: October 16, 2007

Starpharma and Durex Sign Co-Development Agreement for VivaGel-Coated Condoms

(Nanowerk News) Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY) today announced the signing of an agreement with SSL International plc (LSE:SSL), owner of Durex®, the world’s leading condom brand.
The agreement, under which a commercial licence will be negotiated, sets out a codevelopment program for condoms with a VivaGel® coating. Undisclosed fees are payable to Starpharma under the co-development agreement, which also provides for the commencement of regulatory and market development activities by the two parties. SSL is the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms with approximately 30% share of the global market for branded condom sales, selling into over 100 countries around the world. Global condom retail sales in 2005 were approximately $3.2 billion1, with the top four companies representing as much as 70% of the market.
“We are delighted to be working with SSL, whom we believe will be an excellent codevelopment partner for VivaGel® as a condom coating,” said Starpharma’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jackie Fairley. “In addition to SSL’s unparalleled global commercial position and the strength of the Durex® brand, Starpharma also values the organisation’s innovative approach, and its social-marketing program.
“Our development and commercialisation activities for VivaGel® are gathering momentum with this SSL agreement being the second of two unrelated condom coating agreements signed by Starpharma in the last three months.” concluded Dr Fairley. VivaGel® has been shown to have potent contraceptive and microbicidal properties in animal studies, and is also under development as a stand-alone gel to prevent the transmission of STIs, including HIV and genital herpes.
About SSL International plc:
SSL International plc (LSE:SSL) is a focussed consumer brand company with leading global brands including Durex® condoms, Scholl® footcare and footwear products plus a diverse portfolio of local brands, selling into over 100 countries around the world. Headquartered in the UK, SSL has operations in 35 countries. SSL is the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms with approximately 30% share of the global branded condom sales market. Durex has been making condoms of the highest quality for nearly eighty years and has further strengthened its position as the global market leader during the last financial year. The company has enjoyed considerable success in 2007 with its innovative line of Durex Play lubricants and Durex Play devices which have helped to pioneer the acceptance of sexual wellbeing products in mainstream outlets. Other recent activity by the company includes the completion of the outright acquisition of its 50% owned China joint venture Qingdao London Durex Co Ltd in January 2007.
About Starpharma:
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® (SPL7013 Gel), a vaginal microbicide designed to prevent the transmission of STIs, including HIV and genital herpes.
In February 2007 Starpharma signed an agreement with EMD/Merck Biosciences for laboratory applications of Priofect™, an RNAi transfection reagent. Starpharma has retained all therapeutic applications of this siRNA delivery technology and is actively seeking partners to develop products based on it.
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 with applications as diverse as adhesives, lubricants and water remediation.
SPL has a comprehensive IP portfolio that comprises more than 224 patents/applications issued and pending across 56 patent families - a unique level of IP concentration among nanotechnology companies. Dendrimers: A type of precisely-defined, branched nanoparticle. Dendrimers have applications in the medical, electronics, chemicals and materials industries.
Microbicides: A microbicide inactivates, kills or destroys microbes such as viruses and bacteria. Microbicides may be formulated as gels, creams, sponges, suppositories or films with the purpose of reducing significantly the incidence of STIs. They are intended for vaginal or rectal use to afford protection for varying periods, from several hours up to days. Microbicides may also be designed to have a contraceptive function.
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 Stock Exchange. 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 Sheets, LLC.
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.
Source: Starpharma