US firm Arcturus to transfer Covid 19 vaccine technology to Vietnamese Vingroup
thamnguyen99 3-08-2021, 10:49

Conglomerate Vingroup has signed an agreement with US Arcturus Therapeutics medicines biotechnology company on the transfer of COVID-19 vaccine production technology and a collaboration to establish a manufacturing facility in Vietnam for the manufacture of Arcturus’ mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate for sales and use in Vietnam.

US firm Arcturus to transfer Covid 19 vaccine technology to Vietnamese Vingroup

A medic administers a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Hanoi, May 6, 2021. Photo by VnExpress

With a capacity to manufacture 200 million doses per year, Vingroup is projected to produce the first batches of vaccine by early 2022.

California-based Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc will transfer mRNA vaccine technology to Vingroup this month to start a clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Arcturus Therapeutics is a leading clinical-stage messenger RNA medicines company focusing on the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapeutics for rare diseases and vaccines.

Vinbiocare, a unit of Vietnam's biggest private conglomerate Vingroup, has signed a deal for the domestic manufacturing rights to Arcturus's vaccines, including ARCT-154 that targets fast-spreading variants such as the Delta strain.

VinBioCare’s vaccine factory is located inside VinSmart’s electronic equipment complex in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park (Thach That District, Hanoi), with a total estimated investment of 200 million USD and capacity of 200 million doses per year.

Currently, VinBioCare has already signed equipment procurement contracts for this factory. As planned, all equipment will be transported to Vietnam via special flights to ensure timely arrivals in September 2021. So far, construction has also completed while the installation of equipment is expected to be finalized in November 2021.

To ensure the highest production standards, VinBioCare has cooperated with Rieckermann (Germany) - one of the leading machinery & industrial solution providers in the pharmaceuticals industry - to promptly carry out the construction of the 8,807m2 factory following GMP requirements.

“In response to the Vietnamese Government’s guideline on COVID-19 vaccine supply for Vietnam in the time of limited source of supply and outbreaks, Vingroup has proactively looked for prestigious international partners for cooperation and conducted procurement and construction of the vaccine factory as quickly as possible.” - said Vingroup’s Vice Chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy. “Vingroup really expects to make a modest contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Vietnam and the world, so that all people can live a normal life again.”, cited from the yahoofinance.

A Vingroup's representative said it will cooperate with the Health Ministry to conduct phase three of the clinical trial of the mRNA-based candidate ARCT-154 in around 20,000 adults.

The first two phases in Singapore and the U.S. have ensured the vaccine's safety, the source said.

Vingroup plans to apply for approval for emergency use of the vaccine in Vietnam this year and start production in early 2022. A factory under construction is expected to produce 200 million doses a year, according to the vnexress.

Under the agreement, the US firm will grant permission for Vingroup’s affiliate VinBioCare to produce COVID-19 vaccine named VBC-COV19-154, which is effective against new variants of the coronavirus such as Delta and Alpha.

A laboratory of Arcturus Therapeutics. Photo provided by the company.

The Vietnamese company is also approved to manufacture other COVID-19 vaccine types of Arcturus like ARCT-021.

The transfer is slated to begin this month.

VinBioCare’s plant will be located at the Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park, which is built at an investment of over 200 million USD.

Necessary devices will be flown to Vietnam by September and the installation inside the plant is forecast to complete by two months later, reported the VNA.

On August 2, Vingroup announced that it has successfully purchased 500,000 bottles of Remdesivir, which received approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the US for the treatment of COVID-19.

VinBiocare. Illustrative photo on vnexpress.

The medicine will be presented to the Ministry of Health in August.

Vietnam is having four domestic vaccines under development, with Nanocovax by Nanogen already in the third and final phase of human trials.

The country has secured deals for 130 million doses so far and is in talks with other manufacturers for another 40 million shots. The government aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the country’s 96 million population by April next year.

About Vingroup and VinBioCare

As the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam and one of the largest in Asia, Vingroup is currently doing business in three core sectors namely technology, industry and services. In all sectors it has participated in, Vingroup is always a pioneer that leads market trends and creates world-class products and services of Vietnam.

VinBioCare Biotechnology JSC (a member company of Vingroup) is a Vietnamese business working on vaccine and biological products. VinBioCare’s major resources are transferred from Viet A Corporation – a specialist in biotechnology with substantial market shares in Vietnam. The corporation was also Vietnam’s first producer of real-time PCR test kit for SARS-CoV-2 and is currently the supplier to about 90% of health care centers throughout the country.

About Arcturus

Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, California, Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: ARCT) is a clinical-stage mRNA medicines and vaccines company with enabling technologies. Arcturus’ diverse pipeline of RNA therapeutic and vaccine candidates includes mRNA vaccine programs for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Influenza, and other programs to potentially treat Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency, and Cystic Fibrosis along with partnered programs including Glycogen Storage Disease Type 3, Hepatitis B Virus, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Arcturus’ versatile RNA therapeutics platforms can be applied toward multiple types of nucleic acid medicines including messenger RNA, small interfering RNA, replicon RNA, antisense RNA, microRNA, DNA, and gene editing therapeutics. Arcturus’ technologies are covered by its extensive patent portfolio (222 patents and patent applications, issued in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and other countries).

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Tarah Nguyen