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  • Pharmaceutical company Starpharma (SPL) has pocketed a $5.7 million research and development (R&D) tax incentive refund from the Federal Government
  • The refund comes as part of a government program designed to support companies taking on R&D working that benefits Australia
  • In Starpharma’s case, the refund was awarded in respect to its COVID-19 nasal spray, DEP drug delivery platform, and VivaGel programs
  • Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley says incentives like this are part of the reason so many companies have been able to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Shares in Starpharma are trading 1.34 per cent lower this afternoon, worth $1.48

Pharmaceutical company Starpharma (SPL) has pocketed a $5.7 million research and development (R&D) tax incentive refund from the Federal Government.

The refund comes from an Australian government initiative designed to support companies taking on R&D work that benefits Australia.

Starpharma said the $5.7 million is in respect to the work the company has been doing with its COVID-19 nasal spray, its DEP drug delivery platform, and its VivaGel programs.

Company CEO Dr Jackie Fairley said the government’s continued investment into research and innovation has helped organisations like Starpharma rapidly respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

“The pandemic highlights the importance of retaining a local R&D capability and a strong Australian biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry,” Jackie said.

“Local companies have played a critical role in developing important global products underscoring the need for government to continue investing in the sector,” she added.

“In addition to the important contribution to health outcomes, the industry also provides significant economic growth and employment opportunities in Australia.”

Starpharma’s programs

Among other work, SPL has spent some time in 2020 developing an anti-COVID-19 nasal spray.

The product uses the company’s antiviral dendrimer, SPL7013, and has been proven in a lab to inactivate 99.9 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — when applied at the concentration of the nasal spray.

“Starpharma’s novel antiviral COVID-19 nasal spray is a truly Australian innovation which has the potential to have global impact and to complement other prevention strategies such as vaccines, which have an uncertain timeframe,” Jackie said.

As for the DEP platform, Starpharma’s drug delivery product is designed to enhance the properties of other drugs. Essentially, when administering drugs or treatments to patients through the Starpharma tech, the DEP dendrimers can make sure the drug is delivered to the right part of the body at the right time, making it far more efficient than when delivered alone.

Finally, Starpharma’s VivaGel range focusses on women’s sexual health by helping prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV) and sexually transmitted infections.

“The R&D tax incentive will also continue to support the further development of our DEP pipeline and the VivaGel portfolio, as well as supporting important research collaborations with Australian research institutions,” Jackie said.

Shares in Starpharma are trading a slight 1.34 per cent lower today, currently worth $1.48 each at 12:41 pm AEDT. The company has a $602 million market cap.

SPL by the numbers
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