CureVac to drop COVID-19 vaccine candidate, focus on next-gen shot

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A volunteer receives a dose of CureVac vaccine or a placebo during a study by the German biotech firm CureVac as part of a testing for a new vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Yves H

BERLIN (Reuters) -CureVac will withdraw its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate and focus on collaborating with GSK to develop second-generation mRNA vaccine technology instead, the Germany-based biotechnology company said on Tuesday.

The company’s shares plunged almost 14% in afternoon trading, hitting their lowest since listing last August.

The company said it will drop its application to the European Medicines Agency for regulatory approval of its first-generation vaccine candidate CVnCoV after late-stage trials delivered disappointing results with 47% efficacy in June.

There would be a potential overlap with approval timelines for a second-generation candidate.

The earliest potential approval of CVnCoV would have come in the second quarter of 2022 when the candidates from the second-generation vaccine program are expected to progress to late-stage clinical development by that time, CureVac said.

As a result, the advance purchase agreement the German company signed to sell shots to the European Union will end, it said.

It said it expects to start human trials for its second-generation shot in the next months, aiming for regulatory approval in 2022. Results from early-stage animal trials have shown the strong potential of the shot compared with the original one, it said.

CureVac to drop COVID-19 vaccine candidate, focus on next-gen shot

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