Vaginal microbicide coated condom partnership between Durex and Starpharma

Starpharma Holdings Ltd today announced the signing of an agreement with SSL International plc, owner of Durex, the world's leading condom brand.

The agreement, under which a commercial licence will be negotiated, sets out a co-development program for condoms with a VivaGel coating. Undisclosed fees are payable to Starpharma under the co-development agreement, which also provides for the commencement of regulatory and market development activities by the two parties.

SSL is the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms with approximately 30% share of the global market for branded condom sales, selling into over 100 countries around the world. Global condom retail sales in 2005 were approximately $3.2 billion, with the top four companies representing as much as 70% of the market.

“We are delighted to be working with SSL, whom we believe will be an excellent co-development partner for VivaGel as a condom coating,” said Starpharma’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jackie Fairley. “In addition to SSL’s unparalleled global commercial position and the strength of the Durex brand, Starpharma also values the organisation’s innovative approach, and its social-marketing program.

“Our development and commercialisation activities for VivaGel are gathering momentum with this SSL agreement being the second of two unrelated condom coating agreements signed by Starpharma in the last three months.” concluded Dr Fairley.

VivaGel has been shown to have potent contraceptive and microbicidal properties in animal studies, and is also under development as a stand-alone gel to prevent the transmission of STIs, including HIV and genital herpes.

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