Arcturus touts $63M BARDA award for new mRNA influenza vaccine, hoping to prep against future pandemics

A San Diego mRNA biotech is looking to expand its efforts in influenza, and a federal award will bring it closer to that goal.

Arcturus Therapeutics said Wednesday that it won an award from HHS’s BARDA worth $63.2 million, a grant that was awarded as part of the entity’s pandemic influenza efforts. The grant will be divvied out over the next three years to boost Arcturus’ self-amplifying mRNA vaccine platform tech on multiple aspects, such as preclinical research, manufacturing, non-clinical safety studies and regulatory support.

The goal, per an Arcturus statement, is to push a candidate for influenza from preclinical through Phase I clinical studies.

CEO Joseph Payne tells Endpoints News that there’s a big difference between seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza. One is the kind for which someone gets their annual shot, and the other is one that could mutate and become more of a threat.

“This pandemic flu is…
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