The Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL) share price has bounced back from weakness this morning and is pushing higher late on Friday.
In afternoon trade, the biotechnology company’s shares are up 1% to $1.69.
This latest gain means the Starpharma share price is now up 60% since this time last year.
Why is the Starpharma share price pushing higher?
Investors have been buying Starpharma’s shares on Friday after it confirmed that its COVID-fighting Viraleze antiviral nasal spray has been registered for sale nationally in India via the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
The CDSCO is part of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
According to the release, consumers in India can now purchase the Viraleze product via is website. It is also busy finalising local distribution arrangements with potential commercial partners into both the private (consumer) and Government markets.
In light of this, Starpharma is progressing product supply preparations for the Indian market.
Huge market opportunity
The company notes that India has a population of more than 1.3 billion and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country has seen the death toll surpass 359,000 people, and more than 29 million cases.
The release explains that at the peak of the crisis, there were more than 400,000 cases being reported per day, the highest of any country since the pandemic began.
In light of this, management sees a huge opportunity for Viraleze in the Indian market. This is because it is an easy-to-use antiviral nasal spray, which can be stored at room temperature and does not require cold storage or specialised transportation.
It contains SPL7013 (astodrimer sodium), which has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate a broad spectrum of respiratory viruses, including >99.9% of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
SPL7013 has also been shown to be virucidal, rapidly inactivating >99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within 60 seconds with potent antiviral activity shown in multiple strains and variants of the virus. This is a big positive given the various strains that have been developing, particularly in India.
Starpharma’s CEO, Dr Jackie Fairley, commented: “India continues to record hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases every day. Starpharma has worked extremely hard to achieve expedited registration of Viraleze in India given the significant need, and we are pleased that Indian consumers are able to access the product immediately through our webstore www.viraleze.co. We are also well advanced in progressing negotiations for distribution arrangements with potential local commercial partners to enable greater access to the product.”