BTB News: Starpharma Nasal Spray Registered in Europe Supports COVID-19 Response

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23 February 2021

Pictured: VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray registered for sale in Europe. Photo credit: Mike Baker.

With development and commercialisation funding support provided by MTPConnect, Starpharma (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY) announced today it had received confirmation that its VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray for protection against COVID-19 has been successfully registered for sale in Europe, including in the UK.

Starpharma received $1 million in funding in 2020 through MTPConnect’s Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program for the development of the antiviral nasal spray, which has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate a broad spectrum of respiratory viruses, including more than 99.9% of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

This registration allows for the marketing of VIRALEZE™ across the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the 27 countries of the EU, the UK, plus the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, with a combined population of approximately 520 million.

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant congratulated Melbourne-based Starpharma on delivering the milestone achievement of securing European market approval and commercialising the new product to support COVID-19 efforts.

“Through MTPConnect’s BTB program and the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) we are backing promising COVID-19 related research and with an emphasis on rapid translation, projects such as Starpharma’s COVID-19 antiviral nasal spray will potentially enhance the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Starpharma’s research project to develop a COVID-19 antiviral preventative and treatment option, is an example of the research translation occurring in Australia’s biotechnology sector. Importantly, it’s been a team effort with our BTB partner UniQuest who have worked closely with Starpharma to support the BTB project’s development,” said Dr Dan Grant.

ASX-listed Starpharma is a leading company in dendrimer based drug delivery, based in Abbotsford, Victoria with 45 employees.

“The BTB program is an important initiative aimed at accelerating Australian innovations to address the global COVID-19 pandemic. Funding programs like this drive the local development of innovative therapies for patients globally and we are proud to contribute to the Australian biomedical industry response to COVID-19 through our novel antiviral nasal spray, VIRALEZE™, ” said Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO of Starpharma.

Delivered by MTPConnect, the Australian Government's BTB program is a $22.3 million Medical Research Future Fund initiative that provides up to $1 million in matched funding to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to proof of concept to turn innovative medical ideas into reality.