Starpharma announces new research agreement for DEP drug delivery platform

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Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has announced a new research agreement with MSD under which the Australian company will design and synthesise a number of DEP dendrimer conjugates and provide them to the US-based company for testing and characterisation.

The new agreement follows an earlier DEP Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) agreement that Starpharma signed with MSD in February 2021.

Starpharma's DEP is a drug delivery platform technology that aims to enhance the performance of pharmaceuticals and reduce toxicities. ADCs are designed to incorporate the specific cell targeting property of antibodies with the cell-killing properties of chemically conjugated drugs to provide a targeted therapeutic with minimal off-target toxicities.

Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley said, "We are very pleased to add this new DEP ADC program with MSD and to continue building on our partnership with them in such an innovative and valuable area. This new DEP program underlines the potential clinical and commercial value our DEP technology can deliver."

The Australian company also has DEP partnerships with AstraZeneca and Chase Sun.

Under the new 12-month agreement with MSD, research fees are payable to Starpharma for the work completed and the company is not required to fund the program.