Arcturus Therapeutics plummets 53% after analyst downgrades following COVID-19 vaccine trial updates

Arcturus Therapeutics plummets 53% after analyst downgrades following COVID-19 vaccine trial updates

FILE PHOTO: A scientist at RNA medicines company Arcturus Therapeutics research a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a laboratory in San Diego, California, U.S., March 17, 2020.    REUTERS/Bing Guan
A scientist at RNA medicines company Arcturus Therapeutics researches a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a laboratory in San Diego.

  • Arcturus Therapeutics fell as much as 53% to $40 on Tuesday, extending its losses for a second straight day after Wall Street was disappointed with the medical company’s COVID-19 vaccine updates. 
  • Analysts from Barclays, Raymond James, and Baird all downgraded their ratings for Arcturus on Tuesday. 
  • Arcturus released clinical and preclinical data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ARCT-021, on Monday while also announcing that the Singapore Health Sciences Authority approved the vaccine for Phase 2 clinical studies.  
  • Barclays analyst Gena Wang wrote that the interim data of the vaccine candidate was “disappointing,” per Seeking Alpha.
  • Watch Arcturus Therapeutics trade live here.

Arcturus Therapeutics fell as much as 53% to $40 on Tuesday, extending its losses for a second straight day after Wall Street was disappointed with the medical company’s COVID-19 vaccine updates.

Arcturus released clinical and preclinical data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ARCT-021 on Monday while also announcing that the Singapore Health Sciences Authority approved the vaccine for Phase 2 clinical studies. 

Barclays called the interim data of the vaccine candidate “disappointing,” according to a report cited by Seeking Alpha. Analyst Gena Wang wrote that higher dose animal studies showed some efficacy, but “safety concerns limited further dose escalation.”

The firm downgraded its rating for Arcturus from “overweight” to “equal weight.”  Barclays holds a price target of $46 for the stock. Raymond James also downgraded its rating from “outperform”to “market perform,” while Baird analysts downgraded the stock from “outperform” to “neutral” and lowered its price target from $79 to $69. 

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Shares of Arcturus currently trade around $42.

Meanwhile, Piper Sandler senior biotech analyst Yasmeen Rahimi said she was disappointed in the vaccine candidate’s neutralizing titers, but “compelled by the robust pre-clinical data supporting T-cell-driven efficacy, and continue[s] to believe in ARCT’s mRNA technology.” Rahimi rates Arcturus “overweight” and has a price target of $140 for the stock.

Last week, Arcturus boasted a 989% year-to-date gain. Monday and Tuesday’s sell-off has erased those gains, but the stock has still returned over 290% this year. 

According to Arcturus, no safety concerns were identified with the vaccine candidate and all adverse events except 2 were mild or moderate at doses selected for Phase 2. 

Technology