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  • Starpharma’s (SPL) antiviral compound has demonstrated significant activity against SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19
  • The compound has previously acted strongly against many viruses, including HIV, herpes simplex, hepatitis B, HPV, and the Zika virus
  • The compound is also an active component in Starpharma’s VivaGel products, including antibiotic gels and condoms
  • Since the products already have approval, the company might fast-track the compound for development against COVID-19
  • Starpharma’s share price is up 26.9 per cent and share are trading for $1.18

Starpharma’s (SPL) antiviral compound, SPL7013, has demonstrated significant activity against SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Astodrimer sodium, or SPL7013, is the company’s proprietary antiviral dendrimer. In laboratory studies, the compound showed strong antiviral action against the coronavirus. Specifically, SPL7013 stopped the virus from infecting cells. 

Starpharma validated this finding by repeating the test against a positive control compound, remdesivir. Remdesivir (Gilead) is currently a leading candidate for the treatment of COVID-19.

Furthermore, the laboratory’s assay reported that SPL7013 was the best-performing test compound against SARS-CoV-2. These positive results have motivated Starpharma to consider possible products and formulations for preventing and managing COVID-19.

SPL7013 is currently the active component in two of Starpharma’s VivaGel products. Those include a gel for treating bacterial vaginosis, and VivaGel condoms. These products have regulatory approval in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, and South East Asia. 

Since the compound is in products which already have approval, Starpharma might be able to fast-track its development against COVID-19. The company will now start additional short-term preclinical studies on SPL7013.

The compound has previously shown potential for treatment of other diseases. It showed particularly potent antiviral activity against HIV, herpes simplex, hepatitis B, the Zika virus, HPV, and adenovirus. 

Starpharma’s CEO, Dr Jackie Fairley, commented on the exciting development.

“Following the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in February, Starpharma instigated testing of SPL7013 via a specialist antiviral testing laboratory in Melbourne. We are very pleased to find that the compound is highly active against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” Jackie commented.

“We are now exploring a number of product opportunities, including a potential preventative application to reduce the risk of infection. Such a product could provide additional personal protection, including for those in the frontline of this crisis,” she said.

“This is in keeping with Starpharma’s strategy to expand commercial applications of our dendrimers. We are very pleased to be in a position to potentially help with overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

Starpharma’s share price is up 26.9 per cent and share are trading for $1.18 at 11 am AEST.

SPL by the numbers
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