(Reuters) - Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc said on Tuesday the first group of participants had been dosed in an early-stage trial testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and that results from the trial were expected in the fourth quarter.
Shares of the San Diego, California-based company rose about 4% in trading before the bell.
The company is among several drugmakers racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for the new coronavirus that has killed more than 735,000 people globally.
Arcturus in April said preclinical data testing its experimental vaccine, ARCT-021, which is being developed jointly with Singapore's Duke-NUS Medical School, showed the vaccine candidate could trigger an immune response to the virus.
"Based on preclinical immunogenicity data, our self-replicating mRNA-based investigational vaccine could have a highly differentiated safety and efficacy profile, and may potentially allow vaccination at very low doses, and with a single administration," Arcturus Chief Executive Officer Joseph Payne said in a statement.
The current trial includes two parts that will assess ARCT-021's dosing, safety and effectiveness in participants including older adults aged between 56 and 80 years.
ARCT-021, like Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, uses mRNA, or messenger RNA, to inoculate against the coronavirus.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)