Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings in talks with dozen countries over COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement: CEO

In a statement, the CEO of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc disclosed, the U.S.-based company is in discussions with around a dozen countries for a COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement. The company is in early human testing of its COVID-19 candidate.

In an interview, CEO Joseph Payne said, it is talking to many countries including those in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Latin America; it has also held discussion with several U.S. government agencies.

There are “approximately a dozen countries that we’re in conversations with,” said Payne.

Arcturus recent testing of its Wuhan Coronavirus vaccine in human trials lags behind rivals including Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc.

On Tuesday, the company signed a supply agreement with Israel for delivery of its vaccine for an initial 1 million doses, with an option to potentially buy additional doses, in a deal that could eventually be worth $275 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

The company has also received $10 million in funding from the Singapore government to develop a vaccine. If its vaccine is approved by the FDA, Singapore could be the first country to get it.

The negotiations with other countries are focused on two “levers”, Payne said: the number of doses involved and clinical trial support.

“If there is a substantial number of doses, that is a lever of negotiation,” said Payne.

The other pertains to offering support to clinical trials of the vaccine, which was administered to a first group of participants in the early-to-mid-stage trial last week that is occurring in Singapore.

“Some countries may lend support and help us fund or even support the clinical trial itself,” said Payne. “And if they do that, we’re willing to consider a discount on the vaccine as well.”

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