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Why the Starpharma share price charged 11% higher today

The market may have dropped lower, but that hasn’t stopped the Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL) share price from charging higher.

In morning trade the shares of the developer of dendrimer products rose as much as 11% to $1.43. Its shares have since dropped back a touch but are still up 5% at the time of writing.

Why did the Starpharma share price charge 11% higher?

Investors have been buying the company’s shares after the release of an update on its patented nanoparticle formulation, DEP irinotecan.

According to the release, the formulation showed significant efficacy and safety benefits over leading colorectal cancer drugs irinotecan (Camptosar) and cetuximab (Erbitux), in the irinotecan-refractory HT-29 human colon cancer model.

The results of the study can be seen below.

SPL share price

What is irinotecan?

Irinotecan is used as a component of first line therapy for the treatment of colorectal cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in the world, affecting more than 1 million individuals annually and is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death.

DEP irinotecan is a novel nanoparticle formulation of SN-38, the active constituent of irinotecan, delivered using Starpharma’s patented DEP platform.

Cetuximab (Erbitux) is marketed by Eli Lilly and Merck and is indicated for use in approximately 50% of colorectal cancer cases. It generated US$1.6 billion in sales in 2018. Whereas Camptosar achieved peak annual sales of US$1.1 billion.

Starpharma’s CEO, Dr Jackie Fairley, described the results as “impressive”.

She said: “These impressive results for DEP irinotecan once again demonstrate the significant advantage conveyed by the DEP platform. Combinations using DEP drugs are consistently showing better performance than the same combinations using the originator products (e.g. Camptosar). These results are particularly interesting given we have also previously shown the beneficial effect of using DEP docetaxel, DEP cabazitaxel and AZD0466 as part of a combination therapy approach.”

Elsewhere in the industry today, the CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is up 0.5% and the Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) share price is down 1%.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. and Starpharma Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Starpharma Holdings Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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