CureVac and Arcturus Therapeutics Announce Broad Strategic Collaboration to Advance Next Generation of Lipid-Mediated mRNA Therapeutics

TÜBINGEN, Germany & BOSTON, MA & SAN DIEGO, CA, USA I January 4, 2017 I CureVac AG, a leading clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of pioneering mRNA therapeutics, and Arcturus Therapeutics Ltd. (NASDAQ:ARCT), an RNA medicines company, today announced they have entered into a broad strategic collaboration to jointly discover, develop and commercialize novel messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics.

Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate to develop up to four molecular therapy products for rare diseases using Curevac’s optimized natural mRNA sequence (RNAoptimizer®) and Arcturus’s lipid-mediated nucleic acid delivery system (LUNAR™). The agreement focuses on developing mRNA therapeutics for enzyme replacement and antibody generation. Development costs will be shared between the companies, with plans to co-commercialize products in the future under a profit sharing arrangement. The first mRNA therapy to be jointly developed and potentially commercialized by the companies will target ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a genetic disease characterized by the accumulation of ammonia in the blood. The collaboration also grants CureVac access to the full suite of Arcturus’s lipid-mediated delivery intellectual property to enable the development of additional mRNA product candidates.

“This collaboration for up to four products establishes a sound relationship with Arcturus, which we believe is one of the leaders in developing lipid-mediated delivery systems for mRNA molecules,” said Ingmar Hoerr, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of CureVac. “Just as important, we are excited to have secured access to Arcturus’s leading intellectual property rights for future product development in molecular therapies. This partnership combines both companies’ technology platforms with the expertise necessary to develop the next generation of therapeutics based on the considerable potential of mRNA.”

“We are thrilled to combine Arcturus’s platform technologies and expertise with CureVac’s recognized capabilities in mRNA construct optimization and GMP manufacturing to co-develop messenger RNA medicines for patients in need,” said Joseph Payne, President and CEO of Arcturus. “We believe our collaboration with CureVac has the potential to help reduce costs, mitigate manufacturing risks, and accelerate our timelines for ushering quality mRNA medicines into the clinic.”

About CureVac AG

CureVac is a leading company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology with more than 17 years’ expertise in handling and optimizing this versatile molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases. The company applies its technologies for the development of cancer therapies, prophylactic vaccines and molecular therapies. To date, CureVac has received approximately $420 million (€400 million) in equity investments including significant investments from SAP founder Dietmar Hopp’s dievini and an investment of $52 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CureVac has also entered into collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly & Co, Sanofi Pasteur, CRISPR Therapeutics and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit www.curevac.com.

About Arcturus Therapeutics Ltd.

Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, Arcturus Therapeutics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ARCT) is an RNA medicines company with enabling technologies – UNA Oligomer chemistry and LUNAR™ lipid-mediated delivery. Arcturus’s diverse pipeline of RNA therapeutics includes programs pursuing rare diseases, Hepatitis B, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cystic fibrosis, and vaccines. Arcturus’s versatile RNA therapeutics platforms can be applied toward multiple types of RNA medicines including small interfering RNA, messenger RNA, replicon RNA, antisense RNA, microRNA and gene editing therapeutics. Arcturus owns LUNAR lipid-mediated delivery and Unlocked Nucleomonomer Agent (UNA) technology including UNA Oligomers, which are covered by its extensive patent portfolio (120 patents and patent applications, issued in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and other countries). Arcturus’s proprietary UNA technology can be used to target individual genes in the human genome, as well as viral genes, and other species for therapeutic purposes. Arcturus’s commitment to the development of novel RNA therapeutics has led to partnerships with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & JohnsonUltragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc.Takeda Pharmaceutical Company LimitedSynthetic Genomics Inc., and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. For more information, visit www.ArcturusRx.com, the content of which is not incorporated herein by reference.

SOURCE: CureVac

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