Late-stage clinical medicines and vaccines company Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (ARCT:NASDAQ), which is focused on developing messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) based medicines and vaccines for use in treating infectious, liver and respiratory diseases, yesterday announced that it entered into a global strategic collaboration with CSL Seqirus, a division of Australia's CSL Ltd. (CSL:ASX; CSLLY:OTC-Pink) to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize vaccines.
CSL Seqirus manufactures and distributes biotherapeutic products. In addition, the firm develops influenza-related products and is the largest cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world, and owns the world's second-largest influenza vaccine franchise behind only Sanofi Pasteur, a part of Sanofi SA (SNY:NYSE).
The collaborative partnership will combine Arcturus' innovative STARR™ self-amplifying mRNA vaccine and LUNAR® delivery platform technologies with CSL's expertise as a large-scale global manufacturer and distributor of influenza and pandemic vaccines.
Arcturus Therapeutics is to grant CSL Seqirus a license to its self-amplifying mRNA technology that CSL intends to use to develop, manufacture, and commercialize vaccines designed to target SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and three other unnamed highly prevalent respiratory infectious diseases.
The agreement between the two companies stipulates that Arcturus Therapeutics is to grant CSL Seqirus a license to its self-amplifying mRNA technology that CSL intends to use to develop, manufacture, and commercialize vaccines designed to target SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and three other unnamed highly prevalent respiratory infectious diseases.
Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings' President and CEO Joseph Payne commented, "We are excited to embark on this collaboration with CSL Seqirus, a respected world leader in the development, manufacture, and commercialization of vaccines . . . We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership as we work together to develop next-generation self-amplifying mRNA vaccines to protect against the most prevalent infectious diseases."
Under the terms of the agreement, Arcturus Therapeutics will receive an initial upfront payment in the amount of US$200 million from CSL Seqirus and if certain specified development milestones are achieved, will be eligible to receive an additional amount of more than US$1.3 billion. In addition, the agreement provides for payments totaling US$3 billion or more if various commercial milestones are realized. The report stated that Arcturus will also be entitled to receive "a 40% net profit share for COVID-19 vaccine products and up to double-digit royalties for vaccines against flu, pandemic preparedness, and three other respiratory pathogens."
Arcturus Therapeutics is a late-stage clinical mRNA medicine and vaccines firm based in San Diego, Calif., that is focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing next-generation therapeutics for rare diseases and vaccines. The firm noted that its diverse drug development pipeline includes mRNA vaccine programs for both Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
The company is also working on a few other programs that are seeking to address ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, cystic fibrosis, glycogen storage disease type III, and hepatitis B virus.
CSL Ltd. has a market cap of over US$86 billion and is headquartered in Parkville, Australia, just north of Melbourne. The company is engaged in the research, development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of pharmaceuticals and related products throughout Australia, China, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. The company's operations are divided into three primary divisions.
These include its CSL Behring segment, which provides plasma products and recombinants; its CSL Seqirus segment, which produces and sells non-plasma biotherapeutics and develops products to control the symptoms and spread of influenza, and its CSL Vifor, which offers lifesaving products to patients in over 100 countries.
Arcturus Therapeutics started yesterday with a market cap of around US$485.8 million, with approximately 26.6 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 9.9%. ARCT shares opened 26% higher yesterday at US$23.13 (+US$4.85, +26.53%) over the previous day's US$18.28 closing price. The stock traded yesterday between US$21.86 and US$24.65 per share and closed for trading at US$21.70 (+US$3.42, +18.71%).
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