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Arcturus (ARCT) Stock Surges 73% in 3 Months: Here's Why

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Shares of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (ARCT - Free Report) have surged 73% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 10.5%.

Last month, the European Commission granted orphan medicinal product designation to the company’s product candidate ARCT-032 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF). The designation is likely to support the development of ARCT-032, including certain protocol assistance, access to the centralized authorization procedure, exemption from fees and research funding, along with 10 years of market exclusivity upon potential approval.

Earlier in November 2023, the FDA granted an Orphan Drug designation to ARCT-032 for the treatment of CF.

This could be the reason for the stock to remain high during the said time frame.

Zacks Investment Research
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Per the company, the first CF patient in its early-stage study of ARCT-032 has successfully completed two administrations of the investigational drug candidate. Arcturus remains on track to share interim data from the phase Ib study in the first half of 2024.

ARCT-032 is developed using the company’s proprietary Lunar lipid-mediated aerosolized platform, which follows a novel mechanism of action of delivering the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) messenger RNA to the lungs.

Cystic fibrosis is a highly fatal and inherited disorder that is characterized by abnormal mutations in the CFTR gene, affecting the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. Instead of lubricating, the defective gene in CF patients causes the secretions to become sticky and thick, which, in turn, plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, thus severely damaging the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body.

This apart, Arcturus has developed the first self-amplifying messenger RNA (sa-mRNA) COVID vaccine in the world.

In November 2023, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved ARCT-154, the sa-mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for initial vaccination and booster for adults aged 18 years and above.

The approval for ARCT-154 and the ongoing progress with the development of ARCT-032 should continue the upward momentum for Arcturus in 2024.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Arcturus currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector are Indivior PLC (INDV - Free Report) , Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VNDA - Free Report) and Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (KNSA - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In the past 60 days, estimates for Indivior’s 2024 earnings per share have improved from $1.83 to $1.95. In the past year, shares of INDV have risen 13.2%.

Indivior’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing three quarters. INDV delivered an average earnings surprise of 48.06%.

In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Vanda Pharmaceuticals’ 2024 bottom line has improved from a loss of 46 cents per share to earnings of 1 cent. In the past year, shares of VNDA have plunged 27.2%.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals’ earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing three quarters. VNDA delivered an average earnings surprise of 92.88%.

In the past 60 days, estimates for Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals’ 2024 loss per share have narrowed from 53 cents to 7 cents. In the past year, shares of KNSA have risen 74.2%.

Earnings of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals beat estimates in two of the last four quarters, met the same once while missing on the remaining occasion. KNSA delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 53.19%.

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