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Arcturus Teams With CSL to Develop mRNA Vaccines

Arcturus Teams With CSL to Develop mRNA Vaccines

For $200 million up front and a possible $4.3 billion later, Arcturus Therapeutics has agreed to a vaccine collaboration with CSL Seqirus.

As part of the deal, Arcturus, a late-stage clinical mRNA medicines and vaccines company, will provide CSL Seqirus with a license to its self-amplifying mRNA technology along with mRNA drug substance and drug product manufacturing expertise.

CSL Seqirus will lead the development and commercialization of vaccines under the collaboration.

The partners aim to develop vaccines for COVID-19, influenza and three other globally prevalent respiratory infectious diseases.

In a bid to expand its access to messenger RNA technology, CSL Seqirus agreed to a licensing deal that may be worth billions of dollars for San Diego biotechnology company Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings.

The CSL vaccine unit will pay $200 million up front to license Arcturus’ technology and know how to develop mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, influenza, pandemic preparedness and three other unspecified respiratory infections. Arcturus is also eligible for more than $4.3 billion in payments if certain developmental and commercial milestones are reached. 

CSL will take the lead on development and marketing, giving Arcturus a 40% net profit share for vaccines approved to fight COVID-19 and “up to double-digit” royalties on others, Arcturus said Tuesday. The combination of expertise between the two companies may be especially helpful in offering a COVID-19 booster shot, CSL said in its own release.

About Arcturus Therapeutics

Arcturus Therapeutics is an American RNA medicines biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for rare diseases and infectious diseases. Arcturus has developed a novel, potent, and safe RNA therapeutics platform called Lunar, a proprietary lipid-enabled delivery system for nucleic acid medicines including small interfering RNA (siRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), gene editing RNA, DNA, antisense oligonucleotides (ASO), and microRNA. The company's pipeline includes RNA therapeutics for the treatment of rare diseases such as ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, and respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Vaccine medicines include a vaccine candidate for COVID-19, and an influenza vaccine in the preclinical development phase.

About CSL Seqirus

CSL Seqirus, part of the CSL Group, is the new global company created from the combined strength and expertise of bioCSL and the influenza vaccines business formerly owned by Novartis. In July 2015, the two businesses joined forces to create Seqirus, now the second largest influenza vaccine company in the world. With extensive research and production expertise and manufacturing plants in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, CSL Seqirus is a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness and a major contributor to the prevention and control of influenza globally. CSL Seqirus has a workforce of over 3,000 employees, significant manufacturing capacity and a commercial presence in over 20 countries. In Australia and New Zealand, CSL Seqirus markets a comprehensive range of vaccines and specialty pharmaceutical products. It also manufactures products of national significance for Australia, including antivenoms and Q fever vaccine. 

Published Nov. 2, 2022



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