Business Expanding Arcturus Therapeutics, a U.S. developer of mRNA medicines, has established a Japanese subsidiary in Chiba Prefecture as a joint venture with Axcelead, Inc., and is setting up a manufacturing plant in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture

Jun 09, 2022

Arcturus TherapeuticsExternal site: a new window will open. is a US-based global late-stage clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) medicines company focused on the development of infectious disease vaccines with significant opportunities within liver and respiratory rare disease. Established in 2013, the company has over 160 employees. It is currently listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market of the United States with the ticker ARCT.

Fukushima , Chiba

  • Biotechnology & Lifescience
  • USA

Arcturus’ lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology is called LUNAR®. The company’s core technologies include designing and manufacturing of RNA nucleic acid-based therapeutic candidates (including mRNA, siRNA, and miRNA) and a drug delivery system that uses its proprietary lipids. LUNAR® carries the messenger RNA (mRNA) which is a copy of the base sequence from DNA and express proteins of a protective or therapeutic value, and delivery technology for administration of the mRNA that can make proteins in the body. Arcturus has partnered research programs with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a member of Johnson & Johnson group in the U.S., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, and other pharmaceutical companies. In response to the spread of COVID-19, the company has begun developing an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 and is currently conducting clinical trials in the U.S., Singapore and Vietnam.

In April 2021, Arcturus and Axcelead entered into the joint venture, ARCALIS, Inc.External site: a new window will open., and set up a base in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. Then, in May of the same year, the company announced its plans to establish a plant in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, and build facilities to produce next-generation mRNA vaccines, including for COVID-19 by 2025.

ARCALIS, Inc. is the first company in Japan to develop its business as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), specializing in mRNA medicines. While serving as a manufacturing base for Arcturus Therapeutics’ R&D, clinical, and commercial pipelines, the company plans to develop the world's first integrated business as CDMO of mRNA medicines, which provides a stable supply of high-quality mRNA medicines to a wide range of customers, including pharmaceutical companies, drug discovery ventures, and academia around the world, by conducting integrated operations from the development of manufacturing and analytical methods to the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulation of them into a medicine. By acquiring the license of mRNA production technology from Arcturus Therapeutics, the company aims to start manufacturing and supplying pharmaceuticals that meet cGMP standards (Note) within 2023.

mRNA API manufacturing plant to be completed in 2023 in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture

Upon establishing the Japan base of ARCALIS, Inc., JETRO's Invest Japan Business Support Center (IBSC) provided assistance in finding business partners, business matching, and also PR support.

  1. (Note)

    Current Good Manufacturing Practices as established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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