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Why Arcturus Therapeutics Stock Soared Today

By Keith Speights - Nov 10, 2020 at 3:46PM

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The biotech reported promising results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

What happened

Shares of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings ( ARCT 5.30% ) were soaring 12.7% higher as of 3:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday. The big jump came after the clinical-stage biotech provided its third-quarter update following the market close on Monday. Investors were less interested in Arcturus' financial results than they were in the company's encouraging interim phase 1/2 results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate ARCT-021.

So what

There's no question that ARCT-021 looked promising based on the company's interim phase 1/2 results. What's especially attractive is that it could be effective at low doses.

Gloved hands holding syringe and vaccine bottle

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors' excitement about Arcturus' third-quarter update comes hot on the heels of Pfizer and BioNTech reporting efficacy of 90% or greater for their experimental coronavirus vaccine BNT162b2 on Monday. Both ARCT-021 and BNT162b2 use messenger RNA (mRNA). The apparent success for BNT162b2 could bode well for Arcturus' COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

It's important not to get too carried away just yet, though. Arcturus hasn't advanced ARCT-021 to late-stage clinical testing yet. There are several key hurdles to jump before we know if the experimental vaccine is safe and effective. Also, just because another mRNA-based vaccine achieved impressive results doesn't guarantee that ARCT-021 will follow suit.

Now what

Arcturus plans to talk with regulatory authorities in Singapore this week about its design for a late-stage study of ARCT-021. The company also stated that it will engage with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about advancing the experimental vaccine to late-stage testing "very shortly." With the promising early results for ARCT-021, the biotech stock appears to be one for aggressive investors to keep on their radars.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. Stock Quote
Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc.
ARCT
$39.75 (5.30%) $2.00
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
PFE
$53.73 (2.54%) $1.33
BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
BNTX
$351.74 (-2.97%) $-10.78

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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