(Reuters) – Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc said on Monday its Vietnamese partner received regulatory approval to start a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the Southeast Asian country.
The partner Vinbiocare, a unit of Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup, has signed a deal for the domestic manufacturing rights to Arcturus’ vaccines, including ARCT-154 that targets variants such as the fast-spreading Delta strain.
After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been battling a spike in COVID-19 infections caused by the Delta variant.
The country late last month extended movement restrictions in its business hub Ho Chi Minh City and another 18 cities and provinces throughout its south for another two weeks.
San Diego, California-based Arcturus said the study would test its mRNA-based candidate ARCT-154 in 21,000 adults in three phases and would be completely funded by Vinbiocare.
Pre-clinical data on the vaccine showed that it elicits neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19 variants, including the Delta strain.
Arcturus said ARCT-154 would be developed alongside its lead investigational COVID-19 vaccine, ARCT-021.
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