CSL (ASX:CSL) reports its subsidiary CSL Seqirus has entered into a collaboration and licence agreement with Arcturus Therapeutics to access their late stage self-amplifying mRNA vaccine platform technology.
The company says Arcturus is currently developing the next generation of mRNA vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine candidate that recently reported results from a large phase three vaccine efficacy study, meeting its primary and secondary endpoints of prevention of infection and severe disease with a favourable safety and tolerability profile.
CSL Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer Bill Mezzanotte said this collaboration on next generation mRNA is another example of the company’s ‘relentless’ pursuit of disruptive innovation when public health and patients can benefit.
“We look forward to working with Arcturus to shape the future therapeutic landscape of influenza vaccines and also using this exciting scientific and strategic platform to develop and commercialise vaccine for other seasonal and pandemic respiratory viruses with high unmet need.”
CSL COO Paul McKenzie said this collaboration is an exciting opportunity to complement CSL’s own next generation mRNA program with a partner who developed a platform to deliver late stage clinical supplies at scale.
“These combined capabilities will accelerate our journey in mRNA.”
CSL Seqirus General Manager Steve Marlow commented this is another step towards the company’s long term aim to advance public health by developing and commercialising enhanced vaccines for influenza and multi-pathogen pandemic preparedness.
“The collaboration also provides a pathway to offer a COVID-19 booster, providing another differentiated option to healthcare providers and governments around the world.”
Under this agreement, CSL will have the exclusive licence to Arcturus’ next generation mRNA technology in the fields of influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory viral diseases, and a non-exclusive licence in the multi-pathogen pandemic preparedness field with the right to turn exclusive.
Arcturus will receive an upfront payment of US $200 million and will be eligible to receive further payments dependent upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones along with royalties and profit sharing on future product sales.
CSL notes this transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances before closing.
CSL or the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories was established in Australia in 1916 to service the health needs of a nation isolated by war, and over the ensuing years CSL has provided Australians with rapid access to 20th century medical advances including insulin, penicillin and vaccines against influenza, polio and other infectious diseases.
Today the company comprises businesses with longstanding specialised expertise including CSL Behring focusing on rare and serious diseases, CSL Seqirus focusing on influenza vaccines, CSL Plasma focusing on plasma collection; and CSL Vifor focusing on iron deficiency and nephrology.