2021.04.27 Press Release

Axcelead Launches ARCALIS, a Joint Venture to Manufacture mRNA Therapeutics

Tokyo, April 27, 2021 –Axcelead, Inc. (“Axcelead”) announced today the formation of a new joint venture, ARCALIS, Inc. (“ARCALIS”), with Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”, “Arcturus”, Nasdaq: ARCT). ARCALIS will be a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) focused on mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. ARCALIS will be a supplier for Arcturus, its significant minority shareholder upon formation, and it will also seek to support third parties, including biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.

ARCALIS, based in Chiba, Japan, has in-licensed mRNA manufacturing technology from Arcturus and expects to have operational manufacturing capability beginning in 2023. The joint venture is anticipated to support the production of mRNA therapeutics candidates for Arcturus R&D efforts, as well as supporting the future potential commercial supply of Arcturus’ mRNA-based candidates.

“The establishment of ARCALIS is one of the projects mentioned in the joint press release by Hitachi, Ltd (“Hitachi”) and Axcelead on April 7, 2021, titled, “Hitachi and Axcelead have agreed to start joint development of solutions contributing on more efficient creation of next-generation biopharmaceuticals. ARCALIS will steadily promote its business by receiving management and technical support from its parent companies, Axcelead and Arcturus, and promoting business collaborations with Hitachi. ARCALIS aims to contribute to the establishment of a production and supply system for mRNA vaccines and therapeutics in Japan as Japan’s first one-stop mRNA CDMO,” said Tomoyuki Fujisawa, President and CEO of Axcelead.

About Axcelead, Inc.
Axcelead is a group of companies that develops a drug discovery platform business centered on Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc. (ADDP), Japan’s first integrated drug discovery solution provider, which took over Takeda’s drug discovery platform business in 2017. Axcelead, is the flagship portfolio company of Drug Discovery Gateway Fund, which was jointly established by Whiz Partners, Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Co., Ltd., in 2018, with the aim of promoting the drug discovery ecosystem in Japan and will make various contributions to healthcare broadly and globally. For more information on Axcelead and Whiz Partners, please visit the company’s website at, and at

Axcelead, Inc.
Eri Yokota