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Potential COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by Duke-NUS and Arcturus begins human trials

Potential COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by Duke-NUS and Arcturus begins human trials

FILE PHOTO: A scientist at RNA medicines company Arcturus Therapeutics researches a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a laboratory in San Diego, California, US. (Photo: Reuters/Bing Guan)

SINGAPORE: The first participants of an early-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial have been given the potential vaccine, said Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings on Tuesday (Aug 11).

The potential vaccine is jointly developed by Arcturus and Singapore's Duke-NUS Medical School. Results from the trial are expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

The company is among several drugmakers racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for the new coronavirus that has killed more than 735,000 people globally.

In April, Arcturus said preclinical data testing of its experimental vaccine, known as ARCT-021, showed the vaccine candidate could trigger an immune response to the virus.

READ: Singapore scientists to start human trials of COVID-19 vaccine in August
READ: On a fast track like never before - The COVID-19 vaccine effort and 5 vital questions 

"Based on preclinical immunogenicity data, our self-replicating mRNA-based investigational vaccine could have a highly differentiated safety and efficacy profile, and may potentially allow vaccination at very low doses, and with a single administration," Arcturus chief executive officer Joseph Payne said in a statement.

The current trial includes two parts that will assess ARCT-021's dosing, safety and effectiveness in participants including older adults aged between 56 and 80 years.

ARCT-021, like Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, uses mRNA, or messenger RNA, to inoculate against the coronavirus.

Shares of the San Diego, California-based company rose about 4 per cent in trading before the bell.

READ: Indonesia starts phase 3 trial for COVID-19 vaccine, Sinovac reports phase 2 details

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Source: Reuters/jt


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