In a May 4 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Ed Arce reported that Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (ARCT:NASDAQ) formed a partnership with Catalent Inc. (CTLT:NYSE), which "raises the profile of LUNAR-COV19 as a leading vaccine candidate."
Arce reviewed Catalent's contribution to the partnership. The global contract development and manufacturing organization is to manufacture Arcturus' messenger RNA (mRNA) LUNAR-COV19 for protection against SARS-CoV-2 to be used first for human clinical trials and potentially, eventually commercially.
As for timing, Arce noted, San Diego, Calif.-based Arcturus intends to transfer its vaccine technology to Catalent this month and expects Catalent to manufacture the first batches of LUNAR-COV19 by June 2020. "Critically, Arcturus continues to anticipate initiation of Phase 1 testing of LUNAR-COV19 in the summer of 2020," Arce highlighted.
Catalent is to produce the vaccine at its biomanufacturing facility in Madison, Wisc. "This facility utilizes Catalent's flex-suite, a current good manufacturing practice manufacturing suite, that can produce batches at multiple scales and support Arcturus' proprietary mRNA manufacturing process," explained Arce.
Obtaining the vaccine from one facility domestically versus multiple entities worldwide should result in several benefits, Arce continued. They include easy development and production, accelerated delivery and improved costs. Arcturus believes Catalent can produce millions of doses of LUNAR-COV19 mRNA in 2020 and, if need be, hundreds of millions of doses each year subsequently for use globally.
Arce pointed out that LUNAR-COV19 differentiates itself from other similar vaccine candidates in that the technology and delivery platform behind it deliver an "extraordinarily low dose (perhaps 2 micrograms)" in "a potential single shot."
H.C. Wainwright has a Buy rating and a $62 per share price target on Arcturus, the stock of which is currently trading at about $42.12 per share.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc., First Take, May 4, 2020
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Ed Arce, certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of April 30, 2020 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The firm or its affiliates received compensation from Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. for non-investment banking services in the previous 12 months.
The Firm or its affiliates did receive compensation from Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, and will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC managed or co-managed a public offering of securities for Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. during the past 12 months.
The Firm does not make a market in Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. as of the date of this research report.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC and its affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding its analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives (including options and warrants) thereof of covered companies referred to in this research report.