Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX:SPL, OTCQX:SPHRY) today announced the signing of a research and collaboration agreement between its wholly owned US subsidiary, DNT Inc, and a prominent, US-based agricultural chemicals company. The confidentiality provisions of the agreement prevent disclosure of the name of the collaborating company at this time.
Under the agreement the parties will use DNT’s Priostar® dendrimer technology to enhance the performance of existing pesticides. The approach is a natural extension of Starpharma’s drug delivery work, in which dendrimers extend the persistence of an active molecule, potentially reducing the amount of active that is required for a given effect.
The agreement applies to specific classes of pesticides, and does not prevent Starpharma’s further commercialisation of dendrimers more widely in the agricultural chemicals sector.
The global market for agricultural chemicals for 2008 was estimated to be US$123.5 billion, of which pesticides represented US$35.8 billion.
“Agricultural applications offer an exciting and significant opportunity for the Company in what is a completely new market for Starpharma’s proprietary technology,” said Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO Starpharma.
“Starpharma is committed to building its revenues through partnering with market leaders in selected, commercially attractive industry sectors, as this deal and our previous partnerships illustrate. This strategy allows us to rely on partners’ product knowledge and market position to rapidly achieve diversification of our commercial base, whilst enabling the Company to focus its own resources on its core competencies and lead products,” Dr Fairley added.
Starpharma’s other areas of commercial exploitation of dendrimer technology include: sexual health (VivaGel® coated condoms – licensed to SSL International, and VivaGel® topical microbicide); drug delivery with GSK’s Stiefel laboratories; in vitro diagnostics through Siemens Healthcare; laboratory reagents through Qiagen and EMD Merck; and animal health through Eli Lilly’s Elanco.