CSL will gain access to Arcturus’ sa-mRNA vaccine platform technology. Credit: Matt Allworth / Flickr (Creative Commons).

CSL subsidiary CSL Seqirus has closed the international partnership and licence agreement with Arcturus Therapeutics for research, development, production and international marketing of self-amplifying messenger ribonucleic acid (sa-mRNA) vaccines.

Under the deal, CSL will gain access to Arcturus’ sa-mRNA vaccine platform technology.

In November, the companies announced the strategic partnership.

According to this agreement, CSL agreed to make an upfront payment of $200m to Arcturus, which is also eligible for development milestones of more than $1.3bn and over $3bn in commercial milestones.

Additionally, Arcturus will receive royalty payments/profit sharing on sales of products in the future. 

CSL will obtain an exclusive licence to the mRNA technology for influenza, Covid-19 and other respiratory viral ailment fields.

The company will also get a non-exclusive licence in the field of multi-pathogen pandemic preparedness, with an option to turn it exclusive.

A Phase III efficacy clinical trial for the Covid-19 vaccine using sa-mRNA vaccine platform technology met the primary and secondary endpoints of preventing infection and severe ailment. 

It also showed to have a favourable safety and tolerability profile.

CSL R&D head and chief medical officer Dr Bill Mezzanotte said: “Like gene therapy for rare diseases, sa-mRNA is a disruptive technology that is on the leading edge of innovation when it comes to vaccine development.

“Next-generation mRNA technology serves as one of our strategic scientific platforms at CSL and in our evaluation of Arcturus, we saw the right external innovation to strategically complement our in-house next-generation mRNA capabilities and reinforce our longstanding leadership in influenza.” 

In November, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CSL Behring’s adeno-associated virus vector-based gene therapy, Hemgenix (etranacogene dezaparvovec), for haemophilia B (congenital Factor IX deficiency) treatment in adults.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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