Home News CureVac’s COVID-19 shot just failed in a large trial, a major setback...

CureVac’s COVID-19 shot just failed in a large trial, a major setback for the Gates-backed biotech


Employee Philipp Hoffmann, of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020. Picture taken on March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
An employee of German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac.

CureVac's experimental COVID-19 vaccine failed in a critical clinical studythat the biotech said Wednesday.
It's the first late-stage study to flop, with CureVac's medication demonstrating 47% effectiveness.
The German biotech saw its stock price fall by over 50 percent in post-market trading.
See more information on Insider's company page.

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by the German biotech CureVac failed in an important late-stage study, the company said Wednesday.

It's the first failure of a significant vaccine candidate in a final-stage trial. CureVac said an interim analysis showed the shot was 47% powerful, falling short of the study's targets and the minimum bar for what US regulators locate approvable.

The development is a drawback to the entire world 's immunization efforts, as European authorities had previously achieved deals to acquire up to 405 million doses of the shot.

Despite the unsatisfactory result, CureVac CEO Franz-Werner Haas said the company plans to go "full rate for the last readout. " The trial is still continuing and the last vaccine efficiency figure might differ as more COVID-19 instances are tallied.

"We are still looking for submitting for approval," Haas told The New York Times' Carl Zimmer.

CureVac, which is backed by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, saw its stock price payable after Wednesday's announcement. Shares were down over 50 percent in post-market trading. The foundation owns approximately 3.1 million shares of CureVac, or 1.7percent of the company, according to information compiled by Bloomberg.

A different biostatistics expert explained it will be virtually impossible to get CureVac's study to still produce success. The 47% estimate of efficiency relies on 134 COVID-19 instances among study participants. "It's not going to change dramatically," Natalie Dean, a University of Florida biostatistician, told The Times.

CureVac blames variants, even as other vaccines hold up against different breeds

In a report, CureVac leaders said that the prosperity of virus variations played a part in the result. Only among those 134 analyzed instances resulted from the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the company said.

"While we had been hoping to get a stronger interim outcome, we recognize that demonstrating large efficacy within this unprecedented broad diversity of variants is hard," CureVac CEO Franz-Werner Haas explained in a declaration.

The unsatisfactory end result is surprising given some of those similarities CureVac's experimental drug candidate had with additional, highly powerful immunizations. CureVac's shot is a messenger RNA brand new, a new technology platform that's also used by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Those shots were shown to be greater than 90% successful in late-stage trials last year. They also seem to shield people against some significant virus variations.

Other vaccines have also demonstrated success against variations. Novavax, for instance, declared earlier this week its own two-dose shot was 90% successful in a late-stage study. What's more, Novavax's medication was roughly 93% successful in preventing illnesses brought on by variants of concern or variations of attention, the company said.

A quiet existence, before the pandemic

Since its founding in 2000, CureVac needed a largely quiet existence until the pandemic. As among the very first companies seeking to create a COVID-19 vaccine, CureVac's CEO was invited to the White House in March 2020. Shortly afterwards, reports circulated that the US had given a "large sum" for access to its vaccine program. CureVac contested the reports. The company also cycled through three CEOs from the span of a week.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also drawn attention to CureVac together along with his tweets. A Tesla subsidiary is currently working with CureVac in developing a "prototype of an automated manufacturing device," Insider reported July.

In its Wednesday press release, CureVac concentrated attention on its own second-generation coronavirus vaccine. Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has partnered with CureVac on that research, paying the company roughly $235 million upfront and investing in an extra $180 million in multiple prices over the past calendar year.

CureVac said it expects that this next-generation system could start human testing by the end of September, with the goal of launching in 2022.

Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce contributed coverage.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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