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Starpharma share price on watch after latest trial results

The Starpharma Ltd (ASX: SPL) share price has been fluctuating in trade today after its latest development update. Starpharma shares climbed as high as $1.19 on the announcement, but have since dipped back down to $1.15 at the time of writing.

What did Starpharma announce today?

The Aussie pharmaceuticals group announced trial results for its drug DEP gemcitabine this afternoon.

DEP gemcitabine is a DEP version of the well-established, anti-cancer drug Lilly’s Gemzar. In the latest testing, DEP gemcitabine outperformed Gemzar both alone and in combination with Nab-paclitaxel in a preclinical human pancreatic cancer model.

The significant outperformance in terms of anti-tumour activity is the latest success for Starpharma.

The Starpharma share price had climbed to $1.19 per share but has since dropped back slightly to $1.15 at the time of writing.  

Starpharma CEO Dr. Jackie Fairley said the company is “delighted to be progressing yet another internal candidate through development.”

She noted the “impressive results” in treating pancreatic cancer, which has 1-year and 5-year survival rates of just 20% and 7%, respectively.

How has the Starpharma share price performed in 2019?

It has been a volatile year for the Starpharma share price, which has climbed 11.32% higher since January.

This means the company’s shares have underperformed the S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO) by nearly 10% in 2019.

However, the Starpharma share price climbed 5% higher to $1.16 yesterday following a strong first-quarter update.

The pharmaceuticals group reported receipts from customers of $1.1 million and net operating cash flow of $4.6 million for the quarter.

The company received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a phase 1 clinical trial of AstraZeneca’s first DEP product, AZD0466 during the quarter.

Another key highlight was the Asian regulatory approval of its VivaGel BV to go with further product promotion both at home and in Europe.

Foolish takeaway

Despite the company’s share price volatility in 2019, today’s announcement is the latest in a string of positive updates for the group.

If Starpharma shares return to trending upwards again on the news this afternoon the company could achieve its second consecutive day of share price growth.

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Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of 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.