Starpharma raises $45 million to launch COVID-19 nasal spray

Starpharma raises $45 million to launch COVID-19 nasal spray

Listed pharmaceutical company Starphrama (ASX: SPL) has today completed a $45 million oversubscribed institutional placement to fast-track the launch of its COVID-19 nasal spray.

The spray, called SPL7013, has been shown to inactivate more than 99.9 per cent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The funds will be directed to the rapid development, commercialisation activities and launch of the spray, as well as enabling Starpharma to explore an eye drop application for SPL7013.

Starpharma will also use the funds to expedite the pipeline development of its drug delivery platform called DEP.

In early-September the company announced it had created a DEP version of COVID-19 treatment remdesivir that is highly water-soluble, allowing for less frequent dosing and use in non-hospital settings.

The company says it will use some of the $45 million to develop new DEP candidates with opportunities in oncology, radiopharmaceuticals, antibody drug conjugates and other therapeutic areas.

"The funds raised will allow Starpharma to expedite programs across our portfolio, including the novel SPL7013 COVID-19 nasal spray," says Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley (pictured).

"The oversubscribed placement saw a high level of demand from offshore funds including large global and US-based funds.

"We appreciate the strong support from our current shareholders and are delighted to welcome several leading new institutional investors to the register."

The $45 million placement was conducted at $1.50 per share, representing a 6.5 per cent discount to the last closing price on 28 September.

It will result in the issue of 30 million new shares bringing the company's total issued capital to 402.8 million shares.

Eligible shareholders will now have the opportunity to participate, at the same price, in a share purchase plan which is expected to raise approximately $5 million.

Updated at 10.50am AEST on 30 September 2020.

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