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Why Arcturus Therapeutics Stock Is Soaring Today

By Keith Speights – Aug 3, 2021 at 11:21AM

Key Points

  • Arcturus announced that Singapore regulatory authorities are allowing two messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates to advance into early-stage clinical trials.
  • The news followed an announcement on Monday that one of the two vaccine candidates will advance into clinical testing in Vietnam.

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The company received a green light to advance two COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing in a second country.

What happened

Shares of Arcturus Therapeutics (ARCT -1.92%) were soaring 34.7% higher as of 10:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. The big jump came after the company announced that Singapore regulators approved the advancement of two messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates into phase 1/2 clinical testing.

So what

The Singapore Health Sciences Authority gave the green light for Arcturus to initiate a phase 1/2 clinical trial featuring mRNA vaccine candidates ARCT-154 and ARCT-165. This study will evaluate these candidates as primary vaccines and as boosters following initial vaccination with Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Scientist holding a vaccine vial with one hand and giving a thumbs up with the other hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

Singapore's decision came on the heels of another win for Arcturus. The company announced on Monday that the Vietnamese government approved advancing ARCT-154 into a phase 1/2/3 clinical study.

There's even more good news for Arcturus. The Singapore clinical study is being partially funded by a grant that the country's government already awarded to the clinical-stage biotech company. Arcturus' manufacturing partner, Vinbiocare, is funding the clinical trials in Vietnam.

It's understandable why these stories provided solid catalysts for the biotech stock. However, investors should keep in mind that Arcturus still has several big hurdles to jump over before either of its two mRNA vaccine candidates will have a chance at winning regulatory approvals.

Now what

Arcturus plans to kick off its Singapore clinical study within the next few weeks. The company could have more news on its pipeline progress when it provides a second-quarter update on Aug. 9.

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. Stock Quote
Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc.
$17.33 (-1.92%) $0.34
Pfizer Stock Quote
$49.71 (-2.01%) $-1.02
BioNTech Se Stock Quote
BioNTech Se
$161.62 (-3.05%) $-5.09

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

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