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CureVac launches large-scale Covid vaccine trial

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German biotech group CureVac has launched a final-stage, large-scale trial for its Covid-19 vaccine, which can finally contain 35,000 members throughout Europe and Latin America.

The corporate, which makes use of the same mRNA platform to vaccines developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and US rival Moderna, mentioned it might take a look at its product on folks aged 18 and over.

Shares of the corporate, which went public on the Nasdaq in New York in August, weeks after the German authorities paid €300m to take a 23 per cent stake, rose 7 per cent to $126 in pre-market buying and selling.

In contrast to BioNTech’s vaccine, which must be stored at roughly minus 70C throughout transportation, CureVac’s jab stays steady for at the very least three months at customary fridge temperatures, the corporate mentioned.

The group will be a part of 13 different drugmakers in continuing to part 3 trials, based on the World Well being Group.

“The medical security and immunogenicity information achieved up to now look promising and we’re hopeful that this trial will proceed to exhibit the influence of mRNA know-how and our vaccine,” mentioned chief government Franz-Werner Haas.

Based in 2000, the Tübingen-based group is the oldest of the three main firms creating vaccines and therapies based mostly on messenger RNA know-how, which sends directions to the immune system by way of a genetic code. Till this month, it had by no means been utilized in a licensed drug.

The event of CureVac’s Covid-19 shot, nonetheless, has lagged behind German rival BioNTech, which acquired US authorisation final week, and Moderna, which utilized for emergency approval final month.

The corporate is unlikely to use for regulatory approval till the center of subsequent yr, based on folks aware of the matter.

CureVac, which examined a number of dosages in early-stage trials, will proceed with a dose of 12 micrograms, lower than half that of BioNTech’s vaccine, which requires 30 micrograms per dose. The smaller dose may make it simpler to ship bigger quantities of the shot.

The corporate, which has not partnered with a big pharmaceutical group to develop its Covid-19 vaccine, has mentioned it should have the capability to supply as much as 300m doses in 2021, and an extra 600m doses in 2022 — far fewer than BioNTech/Pfizer, which expects to supply 1.3bn doses subsequent yr.

This yr, CureVac signed a cope with the EU to provide as much as 405m doses of its two-course product.

Nonetheless, the corporate, which was reportedly focused for acquisition by the Trump administration within the spring — an advance that CureVac’s administration claims by no means occurred — has deserted plans to provide its vaccine to the US, citing market saturation.