The Courier-Mail

Starpharma shares soar following signing of $2.9m drug delivery deal

- PAUL GILDER

SHARES in biotechnol­ogy group Starpharma have spiked after it inked a lucrative cancer drug delivery deal with pharmaceut­ical giant AstraZenec­a.

Starpharma, which provides dendrimer applicatio­ns that improve the effectiven­ess of existing drugs, will receive $US2 million ($2.9 million) under the initial agreement.

It also stands to pocket up to $US124 million in payments if it hits certain milestones.

Shares in the Melbourne- based company surgedd yesterday following the revelation, closing 13¢, or 21.3 per cent, higher at 74¢.

AstraZenec­a, an AngloSwedi­sh company based in London, will fund the developmen­t and commercial­isation of the tumour treatment, with Starpharma also taking a cut of future sales.

Starpharma chief Jackie Fairley said the tie-up came after its drug delivery technology was applied to an oncology patient sourced by AstraZenec­a.

Starpharma also applies its technology to a gel-coated condom that combats bacterial vaginosis, distribute­d through fellow listed company Ansell, as well as a leading weedkiller.

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