Starpharma at a glance:
Starpharma is a world leader in the development of dendrimer nanotechnology-based products for pharmaceutical and life sciences. It is based in Melbourne, Australia and employs approximately 36 staff.
Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc (DNT) is a wholly owned subsidiary based in Michigan, USA. It has approximately 16 staff.
Starpharma's lead product, VivaGel™, is a gel-based microbicide under development for the prevention of HIV infection and genital herpes.
The potential market for microbicides has been estimated at greater than a billion dollars annually.
The current incidence of HSV-2 (genital herpes) is estimated at 15-25% of the adult population in industrialised nations. This is forecast to rise substantially over the next decade. There is currently no cure for genital herpes. Prevention is the only way to deal with the risk of infection.
There are currently 40 million people living with HIV and 7,000 women are infected each day. The US Government estimates that by age 25, half of all sexually active people in the US can expect to be infected with an STI. More than 50 attempts to develop an HIV vaccine have failed. Expert opinion is that it will most likely be many years before such a vaccine becomes available, if it ever does.
VivaGel™ has shown good efficacy against HIV and HSV-2 in rigorous in vivo animal testing. VivaGel™ has completed a Phase I clinical trial and was recently granted Fast Track status by the US FDA as a product for prevention of HIV infection, accelerating the development of VivaGel™.
VivaGel™ has external development funding for both its HIV and HSV-2 indications. In 2005 the US-based NIH provided $26 million of non-diluting funding and significant support in the global development of VivaGel™ for HIV prevention. In 2006 the NIH provided additional funding support for the development of the HSV-2 indication, again without loss of product ownership by Starpharma.
VivaGel™ has a number of line extensions in development including condom coating and a gel with additional contraceptive properties.
The broader dendrimer pipeline provides Starpharma with multiple market opportunities in the fields of cancer, cardiology, ophthalmic medicine, GPCR targeting drugs and ADME engineering™.
US-based subsidiary DNT is developing nano-molecules for a range of life science and industrial applications.
DNT has a broad and comprehensive IP portfolio of approximately 180 patents/applications issued and pending.
DNT has existing revenue streams from licensing deals with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Pfizer Inc. and Sigma Aldrich.