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The Curevac company has suffered a setback: it is withdrawing its vaccine candidate.

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Together with the British pharmaceutical company GSK, Curevac is now focusing on the development of a second-generation vaccine candidate.

Sebastian Gollnow / dpa

According to the EMA, it can be assumed that the first vaccine developed, CVnCoV, can be expected to receive approval in the second quarter of 2022 at the earliest.

According to the EMA, it can be assumed that the first vaccine developed, CVnCoV, can be expected to receive approval in the second quarter of 2022 at the earliest.

20min/Simon Glauser

Like the Mainz company Biontech, Curevac relies on a modern mRNA vaccine.

Like the Mainz company Biontech, Curevac relies on a modern mRNA vaccine.

20min/Simon Glauser

  • In studies, the effectiveness of the planned vaccine from Curevac was disappointing.

  • Now the company is pulling the emergency brake.

  • Curevac is now working on a second candidate.

The German pharmaceutical company Curevac is making a new attempt to introduce a corona vaccine. Together with the British pharmaceutical company GSK, Curevac is now concentrating on the development of a second-generation vaccine candidate, as the company announced in Tübingen on Tuesday. The application for approval to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its first-generation corona vaccine, which did not achieve the desired effectiveness in tests, is being withdrawn.

Approval in the second quarter of 2022 at the earliest

According to the EMA, it can be assumed that the first vaccine developed, CVnCoV, can be expected to receive approval in the second quarter of 2022 at the earliest. At this point, however, Curevac and GSK expect the candidates in the second generation vaccine program to have reached an advanced stage of clinical development. In addition, there is a greater need for differentiated vaccines for the looming endemic corona situation.

According to the company, the decision also ends the existing preliminary contract with the European Commission, in which CVnCoV was intended for acute pandemic needs. The two pharmaceutical manufacturers now want to accelerate the development and production of the second generation, which is also based on mRNA technology. They expect to be able to enter clinical development in the next few months.

Only 48 percent effectiveness

The aim is to achieve regulatory approval for an improved Covid-19 vaccine to be ready for the market in the coming year, explained Curevac and GSK. Compared to the first-generation mRNA vaccine candidate, the second-generation candidate showed an immune response that was up to ten times higher in animal models.

Curevac’s efforts to bring its corona vaccine to market had suffered a major setback in the summer. At the end of June, the Tübingen-based company announced that its corona vaccine was only 48 percent effective. Like the Mainz company Biontech, Curevac relies on a modern mRNA vaccine. The Tübingen drug has long been considered extremely promising. The Curevac preparation does not play a role in the current vaccination campaign in Germany.

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(afp/lea)

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