Starpharma’s SPL7013 Shows Significant Activity Against SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus)
Given SPL7013 is already approved as the active component of two marketed VivaGel® products (VivaGel® BV and the VivaGel® condom) and these products have regulatory approval in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and South East Asia, Starpharma anticipates it should be possible to fast-track certain aspects of the development path for products targeted at COVID‑19. The Company will now commence additional short-term preclinical studies, and in parallel, will confirm the pathway with regulatory authorities. A new patent has also been filed following receipt of these coronavirus results. Starpharma retains rights to COVID-19 related products resulting from these findings and as such they would be the subject of new commercial licences and would not impact existing VivaGel® licences.
The SARS-CoV-2 antiviral testing of SPL7013 was conducted under contract by Melbourne-based 360Biolabs, which has developed SARS-CoV-2 assays to support antiviral discovery and development. SPL7013 is one of the first agents tested by 360Biolabs to demonstrate significant SARS-CoV-2 activity.
The VivaGel® active (SPL7013) has previously been shown to have potent antiviral activity against a wide range of viruses, including HIV, herpes simplex, hepatitis B, HPV, Zika virus and adenovirus. SPL7013 inactivates viruses by blocking the interaction between viral surface proteins and the human cell receptor proteins. As for other viruses inhibited by SPL7013, SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells by using the characteristic viral surface proteins, or “spikes”, to attach to receptor proteins on the surface of human cells.
Dr Jackie Fairley, Starpharma CEO, commented: “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 and 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, such as doctors, nurses and other essential workers, and 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 the effort in overcoming the current global COVID-19 pandemic.”
About VivaGel® active (SPL7013)
SPL7013 is one of Starpharma’s proprietary dendrimers that is already a component of two approved products, VivaGel® BV for bacterial vaginosis and the VivaGel® antiviral condom. These products are approved and marketed in a range of regions/ countries including the UK, Europe, Japan, South East Asia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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.
1 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, is the virus that causes COVID-19.
2 VivaGel BV is marketed by Mundipharma as Betafem® BV Gel (UK), Betadine BV™ (Europe), Betadine™ BV Gel (Asia) and by Aspen Pharmacare as Fleurstat BVgel (Australia and New Zealand). The VivaGel® condom was launched by Okamoto as VivaGel® Zero Zero Three (003) (Japan) and by LifeStyles under the Dual Protect® brand and is pending launch by LifeStyles under the Absolute™ Dual Protection brand in Europe.
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Source: Starpharma Holdings Limited