German pharmaceutical company CureVac has revealed disappointing results from its mRNA tests Covid-19 vaccineDamping hopes the jab can help meet the global need for effective inoculations.
CureVac said on Wednesday its vaccine was 47% effective at protecting against coronavirus in an interim review of its late-stage trials, making it one of the least effective coronavirus vaccines tested to date.
Earlier this week, US drug maker Novavax said its protein shot was 90 percent effective to fight the coronavirus while the Moderna and BioNTech / Pfizer jabs are 95% effective in fighting the original strain of the virus.
CureVac’s Nasdaq-listed shares plunged 50% in aftermarket trading in New York.
The company attributed the disappointing results to new strains of the virus circulating in 10 countries in Latin America and Europe, where its trials were conducted.
In his study of 40,000 people, CureVac said 13 variants had been found in volunteers, with more than half of coronavirus cases caused by variants of concern.
however, UK data this week showed that BioNTech / Pfizer’s rival two-dose mRNA vaccine, or messenger ribonucleic acid, was 96 percent effective in preventing hospitalization of people infected with the Delta variant, which was first detected in India.
This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added the Delta strain to their list of variants of concern.
CureVac has partnered with German manufacturing conglomerate Bayer to produce its coronavirus vaccine and has entered into a deal with UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline to create a next generation of jabs.
The poor test results cast doubt on the viability of these projects. CureVac aims to produce 300 million doses of its vaccine this year and 1 billion in 2022.
“While we were hoping for a more solid intermediate result, we recognize that it is difficult to demonstrate high efficiency in this unprecedented wide variety of variants,” said Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of CureVac. He added that the plethora of variants “underscores the importance of developing next-generation vaccines.”
The vaccine is also currently being studied in the United Kingdom as part of a booster trial that involves giving different injections to people who have already received two doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca or BioNTech / Pfizer vaccines.
Like Moderna and BioNTech / Pfizer vaccines, CureVac’s vaccine uses mRNA but its mRNA is natural and unmodified. His shot also uses a lower dose, 12 micrograms compared to Moderna’s 100 mg and BioNTech / Pfizer 30 mg, which results in a lower production cost and is stable at conventional refrigerator temperatures.
CureVac said it will continue testing its two-dose mRNA vaccine and decide the most appropriate regulatory route after evaluating the final data from the trials.
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