MELBOURNE, Australia--Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX:SPL)(OTCQX:SPHRY) today announced the signing of an exclusive license and supply agreement with Shenyang Sky and Land Latex Co. Ltd. (Sky and Land) for the manufacture and sale of VivaGel® condoms to the Government segment of the Chinese condom market. This agreement follows the signing of the MOU with Sky and Land in December 2015.
Sky and Land is a diversified Chinese company that owns and operates a number of condom manufacturing plants in China. They are a major provider of condoms to the Chinese Government who provides condoms to its citizens under a number of programs, with an annual requirement of approximately 3 billion condoms.
Under the agreement, Starpharma will supply the VivaGel® active for Sky and Land to manufacture VivaGel® condoms under license specifically for the Chinese Government sector. Starpharma and Sky and Land have already commenced regulatory activities to gain approval of a VivaGel® condom in China.
“This new license in China significantly expands the market opportunity for the VivaGel® condom into a market segment not captured by our current licensees,” said Dr Jackie Fairley, Chief Executive Officer, Starpharma. “The Chinese condom market will grow by nearly 60% in the next five years according to Bloomberg analysis, so access to this important market segment is a major commercial development for Starpharma,” she added.
“Sky and Land is an ideal Chinese partner for this large market given they have both world-class local manufacturing capabilities and a successful history of supplying condoms to the Chinese Government,” Dr Fairley stated.
“Sky and Land is very pleased to be partnering with Starpharma and to be able to provide the world-first antiviral VivaGel® condom to the Chinese Government and people. We look forward to a long and successful partnership for this innovative product,” said Mr Bo Yong Xi, President, Sky and Land.
The VivaGel®condom contains the antiviral VivaGel®active. While the physical barrier of the condom provides primary protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), VivaGel®is included in the condom lubricant as an antiviral agent that has been proven, in laboratory studies only, to inactivate up to 99.9% of HIV, HSV and HPV, which are viruses that cause STIs.
More recently, the VivaGel®active was also shown to have potent antiviral activity against Zika virus, which can also be sexually transmitted.
VivaGel®in the form of a vaginal gel formulation (VivaGel®BV) is approved in Europe for the topical treatment and rapid relief of bacterial vaginosis (BV), and is currently under regulatory review in other territories. Phase 3 trials are also ongoing to investigate VivaGel®BV for the prevention of recurrent BV.