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Rob Thomas Succeeds Retiring Starpharma Holdings Ltd Chairman Peter Bartels

6/13/2014 1:57:00 PM

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Melbourne, Australia; 13 June 2014: Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY) today confirmed Mr Peter Bartels AO will retire as Chairman as part of a planned succession. As announced in November 2013, Mr Rob Thomas AM will succeed Mr Bartels as Chairman, effective today.

Mr Thomas joined the Starpharma Board in December 2013 as Non-executive Director and Chair-Elect under the Board’s ongoing succession planning and director renewal strategy. Mr Thomas is also a member of both the Audit and Risk Committee and the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.

The Board of Starpharma thanked Mr Bartels for his exceptional contribution to the Company and acknowledged the major role he played in guiding the business from an early stage development company to a business with multiple products nearing commercial launch.

Mr Thomas said: “I have had the pleasure of working beside Peter over the last six months and I take over as Chairman at a time when the fundamentals of the Starpharma business are strong, a position Peter, along with the Board and management have contributed substantially to.”

Rob Thomas AM biography

Rob Thomas has a strong background in financial services and is a non-executive director on a number of listed healthcare companies, large multinational and financial services companies in Australia and the United States. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the securities industry with Potter Partners (now UBS), County Natwest and Citigroup.

Mr Thomas is currently Chairman of TAL Limited (formerly Tower Australia Limited), Gragher Capital Securities and the New South Wales State Library. He is the immediate past non-executive Chairman of successful device company, Heartware International Inc and remains a non-executive director of that company and is also a director of ASX listed Virgin Australia Limited , REVA Medical Inc., and Biotron Limited.

Mr Thomas holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and is a Fellow of the Securities Institute of Australia. He is also a Master Stockbroker and is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors.

Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY), located in Melbourne Australia, is an ASX 300 company and is a world leader in the development of dendrimer products for pharmaceutical, life science and other applications.

Starpharma’s underlying technology is built around dendrimers – a type of synthetic nanoscale polymer that is highly regular in size and structure and well suited to pharmaceutical uses. Starpharma has three core development programs: VivaGel® portfolio, drug delivery, and agrochemicals with the Company developing a number of products internally and others via commercial partnerships.

Starpharma’s lead products are based on VivaGel® (SPL7013, astodrimer sodium), a proprietary dendrimer which is a potent microbicidal agent. VivaGel® formulated as a water based gel and delivered vaginally is under clinical development for the management and prevention of bacterial vaginosis (BV). Starpharma has also signed separate licence agreements with Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) and Okamoto Industries. Inc., (TSE: JP3192800005) to market a value-added, VivaGel®-coated condom. A VivaGel®-coated condom has received marketing approval in Japan. Okamoto is the market leader for condoms sold in Japan, which is the world’s second largest condom market. Ansell manufactures and sells leading condom brands worldwide, including Lifestyles®, ZERO® and SKYN®.

In the wider pharmaceutical and life science fields, Starpharma has both partnered and internal programs in Drug Delivery. Drug Delivery partners include GSK, Lilly and AstraZeneca. A number of dendrimer-enhanced, or DEP™ versions of existing drugs are under development. The most advanced of these is DEP™docetaxel, a dendrimer-enhanced version of docetaxel (Taxotere®) which is in clinical development. In preclinical studies DEP™ docetaxel has shown significant tumour-targeting and superior anti-cancer effects across a range of important cancer types including breast, prostate, lung and ovarian tumour, when compared to Taxotere® (docetaxel).

In agrochemicals Starpharma has a series of partnerships with leading industry players including global leader Adama (formerly Makhteshim Agan) as well as internal programs including an enhanced version of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup®).


Buchan Consulting
Tahlia Weston
Tel: +61 3 9866 4722

Dr Jackie Fairley, Chief Executive Officer

Nigel Baade, CFO and Company Secretary
+61 3 8532 2704

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