Australian pharmaceutical company Starpharma's (ASX: SPL) anti-COVID nasal spray VIRALEZE has been approved for sale in Europe and the UK today, and is now on track to launch next month.
Shares in SPL have spiked on the announcement, up more than 9 per cent in early trade.
Starpharma hopes the launch of the product will be a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19, with the product shown to be virucidal rapidly inactivating more than 99.9 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 within 60 seconds.
"Starpharma is pleased to have successfully developed a product that has the potential to assist with the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic," says Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley.
"We have already undertaken substantial launch preparations, including manufacturing in Europe, to ensure VIRALEZE is available to consumers and businesses as early as possible.
"The spray is easy to use and convenient and works rapidly, without being absorbed into the bloodstream. If you are about to walk into the supermarket, you would use it. The same is true for public transport, elevators, planes, bars and restaurants."
VIRALEZE has been shown to be effective against other respiratory viruses, including influenza, RSV, and other cold-causing coronaviruses in laboratory studies.
The product is expected to be available for sale online, direct to European and UK consumers next month.
A roll-out of VIRALEZE to European pharmacies is planned, and in parallel, Starpharma is undertaking discussions with B2B consumers, as well as with potential commercial partners seeking sales and marketing rights.
"Starpharma is focussed on making the product as widely available as possible, with further registrations and roll-out planned," says Fairley.
"We know from consumer research conducted with the Boston Consulting Group, that VIRALEZE has strong appeal for European customers across all age groups."
Despite a widespread rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, the number of new infections continues to grow in the countries Starpharma is targeting.
Yesterday the UK reported more than 9,000 new infections of the coronavirus and 214 deaths.
France is currently in the midst of a surge in cases, with more than 22,000 new cases detected yesterday, and thousands of cases were reported in countries like Spain, Italy, and Germany.
Shares in SPL are up 9.55 per cent to $2.41 per share at 10.17am AEDT.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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