A COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Duke-NUS Medical School and Arcturus Therapeutics could be available in Singapore in the first quarter of 2021.
Arcturus Therapeutic, which is based in California, made the announcement on 9 November.
The vaccine is currently undergoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial in Singapore. This phase studies the safety and side effects of the vaccine and the best dose for treatment.
Promising results; robust immune response
The study is fully enrolled with 106 subjects including older adults. It’s ongoing and interim results are promising according to Arcturus. The results showed a robust immune response at all doses evaluated.
The vaccine was generally well-tolerated.
The company is now in discussions with the Singapore Health Sciences Authority to advance it into later stage clinical studies.
Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School who co-developed the vaccine said that the promising results of Phase 1/2 indicates that the vaccine could be effective as a single dose.
This differentiates ARCT-021 from many other COVID-19 vaccines in development, Prof Ooi said.
“ARCT-021 has the potential to provide important public health benefits by greatly facilitating broad administration across multiple populations worldwide,” said Prof Ooi who is also a member of Arcturus’ Vaccine Platform Scientific Advisory Board.
Financial support and purchase of vaccine from EDB
The company also announced on its website that Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) is providing US$45 million upfront to fund the manufacture of the vaccine with the right to purchase up to US$175 million of ARCT-021 vaccine at pre-negotiated prices. Shipments are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
Andy Sassine, Chief Financial Officer of Arcturus said the funds from Singapore will provide the Company with additional resources to sustain rapid scale up of ARCT-021 to meet the requirements of our existing Israeli and Singapore agreements as well as other potential supply deals in 2021.
“Along with our global manufacturing partners, we have laid the foundation to produce hundreds of millions of doses of ARCT-021 over the next 18 months and we believe the Company has an opportunity to positively impact the global COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.