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Why the Starpharma (ASX:SPL) share price is racing higher today

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The Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL) share price has been a very positive performer on Thursday.

At the time of writing, the dendrimer products developer’s shares are up 6% to $1.40.

Why is the Starpharma share price racing higher?

Investors have been buying Starpharma’s shares today after it released an update on its antiviral nasal spray active (SPL7013).

According to the release, additional testing has been undertaken and shows the potent antiviral activity of SPL7013 against human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

RSV is a common and very contagious virus that affects the lungs and airways. It is most problematic in the young and the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, or chronic heart and lung disease, including asthma. It is also one of the viruses responsible for the common cold.

The company notes that more than 177,000 adults are hospitalised and 14,000 of them die each year in the United States due to RSV infection.

Despite its prevalence and extensive efforts by pharmaceutical companies over the years, there are few strategies available to prevent or treat RSV infection. There are no vaccines and few therapeutics available to treat the infection. Furthermore, like influenza, RSV frequently mutates making vaccine development challenging.

This latest data further expands the antiviral spectrum of SPL7013 in respiratory viruses, which already includes SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and H1N1 influenza.

Starpharma is also testing SPL7013 against other respiratory viruses with the intention to add these to the product claims as data becomes available.

Starpharma’s CEO, Dr Jackie Fairley, commented: “We are pleased to announce the expanded use of SPL7013 in RSV. RSV is a common virus which has significant morbidity and mortality for the elderly and those with chronic disease.”

“What these results confirm, is that SPL7013 has broad spectrum antiviral activity, and that VIRALEZE could play an important role for future pandemic preparedness. The rapid development and commercialisation of SPL7013 as VIRALEZE antiviral nasal spray is on track, with the product set to be available in some markets as early as 1H CY2021,” she added.

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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 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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