Starpharma signs distribution agreement for antiviral in Vietnam

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Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has signed an initial supply contract for its VIRALEZE antiviral nasal spray in Vietnam with the first delivery expected in early November.

VIRALEZE is a broad-spectrum antiviral nasal spray that has been shown to have potent antiviral and virucidal activity in multiple respiratory viruses and multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, including inactivation of over 99.9 per cent of the highly infectious delta variant, in laboratory studies.

VIRALEZE is registered in Europe and India, and available online in certain markets, but is not registered for sale or supply in Australia.

"In parallel with completing registration, Starpharma is finalising an ongoing distribution agreement for VIRALEZE in Vietnam which will allow subsequent larger orders and ongoing supply," said the company in a statement.

Vietnam, which has a population of approximately 97 million, is experiencing a significant outbreak of the COVID-19 'delta' variant with only around 20 per cent of its population fully vaccinated. According to figures from the World Health Organization, the death toll in Vietnam from COVID-19 infection exceeds 21,000.

Starpharma said its initial orders committed for purchase under this supply distribution contract total approximately 100,000 units with further larger orders expected upon signing of an ongoing distribution agreement.

The distribution arrangements for Vietnam include Australian-based Healthco Australia, with Truong Bao Land (TBL) International Investment Company responsible for importation, sales, marketing and distribution in Vietnam.

TBL will also utilise the local medical distribution networks in Vietnam of Nam Thanh Trade and Medical Services Company.

"The initial supply contract for the first shipments of VIRALEZE has a maximum three-month term and will be replaced by an ongoing distribution arrangement, which is currently being finalised. These arrangements are exclusive for retail, pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals in Vietnam," said Starpharma.

Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley said, “We are very pleased to be able to make VIRALEZE available to Vietnamese consumers and frontline workers next month, especially given the current Delta outbreak and vaccination rates in Vietnam. This supply contract is one of a number of international commercial arrangements for VIRALEZE being negotiated by Starpharma and we look forward to making further announcements about those soon.”