Mar 25, 2021

VIRALEZE™ to be launched with LloydsPharmacy in the UK

VIRALEZE™ to be launched with LloydsPharmacy in the UK
  • Starpharma has signed a sales and distribution agreement for VIRALEZE™ with LloydsPharmacy, one of the largest pharmacy groups in the UK
  • VIRALEZE™ will initially be available exclusively at LloydsPharmacy, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the UK with around 1,400 LloydsPharmacy stores across the UK
  • LloydsPharmacy is part of the global McKesson group, a leading international pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy company
  • McKesson UK is also one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in the UK (via AAH), supplying over 14,000 independent UK pharmacies
  • The UK is the first country in Europe to launch VIRALEZE™, and Starpharma has a further European roll-out planned
  • VIRALEZE™ is a broad spectrum antiviral nasal spray that contains astodrimer sodium (SPL7013) which is virucidal, irreversibly inactivating >99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) within one minute
  • SPL7013 has been shown to be highly active against multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) as well as a broad spectrum of other viruses including influenza, RSV, SARS and MERS

Melbourne, Australia; 25 March 2021: Starpharma (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY) today announced it has signed a sales and distribution agreement for VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray with LloydsPharmacy and the McKesson group in the UK. LloydsPharmacy/McKesson is one of the largest pharmacy groups in the UK and is also a major wholesaler in the UK.

VIRALEZE™ will be available online at www.LloydsPharmacy.com next week and is expected instore in April. Starpharma’s sales and distribution agreement with LloydsPharmacy/McKesson incorporates a reciprocal exclusivity arrangement for VIRALEZE™ with significant investment in marketing by Lloyds, both online and instore.

LloydsPharmacy has around 1,400 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations and include over 200 LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s stores. The company employs over 19,100 employees and dispenses more than 150 million prescription items annually. LloydsPharmacy is part of McKesson Europe AG; a leading international pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy company. McKesson UK, through its wholesale arm, AAH, is one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in the UK, supplying over 14,000 independent UK pharmacies. With strong brands and about 38,000 employees, McKesson Europe is active in 13 European countries.

VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray was developed by Starpharma based on an already marketed active, and the product is now registered for sale in the UK and Europe. VIRALEZE™ is a broad spectrum antiviral nasal spray that contains astodrimer sodium (SPL7013) which is virucidal, irreversibly inactivating >99.9% of coronavirus/SARS-CoV-2 within one minute, as shown in laboratory studies conducted at the renowned Scripps Research Institute in the US. SPL7013 has also demonstrated potent antiviral activity against multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2.

The antiviral active (SPL7013) in VIRALEZE™ irreversibly blocks coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 ‘spike’ proteins from binding to human airway cells, an interaction which is required for infection. VIRALEZE™ has multiple unique advantages, including its virucidal action, its rapid onset (inactivates >99.9% SARS-CoV-2 within one minute) and its ability to inactivate virus either before or after exposure, and provides a physical barrier to respiratory viruses in the nasal cavity.

Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO of Starpharma commented: “We are excited that VIRALEZE™ will be available from next week in the second largest pharmacy chain in the UK. The LloydsPharmacy/McKesson team shares Starpharma’s enthusiasm and commitment to bring VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray to UK consumers as they emerge from their latest lockdown. LloydsPharmacy represents an ideal partner for this product.”

“VIRALEZE™ was developed, manufactured and registered by Starpharma, and we are delighted to see it launched in the UK market”, added Dr Fairley.

Head of e-Commerce and Category Management at LloydsPharmacy, Mr John Acland commented:

“We are excited to have secured exclusive rights to VIRALEZE™ for the UK. It is a highly innovative product with compelling customer benefits and is well supported by an impressive body of quality science and research. We hope VIRALEZE™ will bring LloydsPharmacy customers added peace of mind and protection as we enter the next chapter of the pandemic and re-emerge back into work, school and social settings”.

About LloydsPharmacy

LloydsPharmacy has around 1,400 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations and include over 200 LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s stores. The company employs over 19,100 employees and dispenses more than 130 million prescription items annually. 

LloydsPharmacy is part of McKesson Europe AG; a leading international pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy company.  With strong brands and about 38,000 employees, McKesson Europe is active in 13 European countries.

Every day, the company serves over two million customers – at around 2,300 McKesson-owned pharmacies and at over 7,000 participants in brand partnership schemes. With more than 100 wholesale branches across Europe, we supply more than 55,000 pharmacies and hospitals every day with more than 100,000 pharmaceutical products.

McKesson Corporation, Irving, Texas, USA, is the majority shareholder in McKesson Europe AG. McKesson Corporation is a global leader in healthcare supply chain management solutions, retail pharmacy, community oncology and specialty care, and healthcare information technology.

About VIRALEZE™ Antiviral Nasal Spray

VIRALEZE™ Antiviral Nasal Spray was developed by Starpharma (ASX: SPL) and is registered for sale in the UK and Europe. It is an easy-to-use antiviral nasal spray containing 1% w/w astodrimer sodium (SPL7013), shown in laboratory studies to inactivate respiratory viruses, including >99.9% of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

VIRALEZE™ binds to and irreversibly inactivates a broad spectrum of viruses. Inactivated viruses are blocked from attaching to cells inside your nose and taking hold. In addition to providing a protective antiviral barrier, VIRALEZE™ provides a moisturising layer to help keep nasal tissue hydrated, protecting it from dryness and damage.

SPL7013 is included in products approved in >40 countries and available for sale in the UK, Europe, Japan, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

VIRALEZE™ can be used alongside vaccines, masks, and physical distancing.

 Advantages of VIRALEZE™

  • Broad-spectrum, works against multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2 and multiple viruses.
  • Potent antiviral activity against multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Virucidal, irreversibly and rapidly inactivating >99.9% of coronavirus/ SARS‑CoV‑2 within one minute[1].
  • Ability to inactivate virus either before or after exposure.
  • Contains a well-tolerated, already marketed active which is not absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Provides a moisturising and protective barrier to help keep nasal tissue hydrated.
  • Room temperature storage, easy and convenient for regular use.

Starpharma acknowledges the $1 million in funding for the development of VIRALEZE™ provided by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program, with support from UniQuest. Delivered by MTPConnect, the Australian Government's BTB program is a $22.3 million MRFF initiative that provides up to $1 million in matched funding to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to proof of concept to turn innovative medical ideas into reality.

Download ASX Announcement: VIRALEZE™ to be launched with LloydsPharmacy in the UK (PDF 241kb)

[1] Paull, J.R.A. et al. Virucidal and antiviral activity of astodrimer sodium against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro (2021). Antiviral Research: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2021.105089

 This contains certain forward-looking statements.