Starpharma (ASX:SPL) share price climbs 3% on back of Vietnam launch

What’s happening with the biopharmaceutical company?

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Young woman wearing glasses and red top looks at laptop happily as Starpharma price rises

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The Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL) share price edged higher today following the launch of Viraleze in Vietnam this week.

Viraleze is an antiviral nasal spray that has been shown to deactivate a broad spectrum of respiratory/cold viruses in laboratory studies. This includes multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza, RSV, SARS, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

At the close of trading on Friday, shares in the dendrimer products developer were up 2.99% to $1.205. At one point, the share price hit an intraday high of $1.235 — up 5.5% on Starpharma’s previous close.

What did Starpharma announce?

In today’s release, Starpharma announced that Viraleze has been registered for sale in Vietnam.

Viraleze is being launched in the south-east Asian country this week, following the recently-signed initial supply contract. About 100,000 units will be supplied under distribution agreements with Australian-based Healthco, and Vietnam-based Truong Bao Land International Investment Company.

These arrangements are exclusive for retail, pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals in Vietnam. However, a portion of these orders will also be donated to hospitals and other healthcare organisations across the country.

Vietnam has a population of about 97 million. It is currently experiencing a significant Delta outbreak despite 50% of its population being fully vaccinated. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Covid-19 has taken 25,600 lives in Vietnam so far.

Starpharma CEO, Dr Jackie Fairley commented:

Starpharma is pleased to have achieved another registration for VIRALEZETM, and we are excited to see the product launched in Vietnam this week. This registration, the first in South East Asia, builds upon existing submissions as well as registrations already achieved in Europe, India and New Zealand, and we are expediting further regulatory submissions in multiple regions and countries.

Starpharma share price snapshot

At the start of 2021, Starpharma shares rocketed to an all-time high of $2.52 in mid-February. This followed a couple of positive market announcements.

First was the global expansion of AstraZeneca’s AZD0466 clinical development program, which is using Starpharma’s proprietary DEP technology, to develop a leukaemia treatment.

Starpharma also announced the signing of a research agreement with Merck & Co., Inc (MSD). Under the agreement, MSD will conduct a preclinical research evaluation of dendrimer-based Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) also using Starpharma’s DEP technology.

However, the sharp rise in the Starpharma share price didn’t last. It came crashing down in late February. Since then, the company’s shares have continued their downward trend and hit a 52-week low of $1 in November.

Starpharma is down by 7% in the past 12 months. It is 22% lower in 2021 alone.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Starpharma Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Starpharma Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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