German CureVac’s Covid vaccine is only 48% effective
Germany’s CureVac announced on Wednesday that final trial results showed its coronavirus vaccine had an efficacy rate of just 48%, far lower than those developed by its mRNA rivals BioNTech and Moderna.
The result was expected after the publication of poor interim results earlier this month.
The company partly blamed “the unprecedented background of 15 strains circulating” among the trial volunteers, as well as varying responses across different age groups.
Covid vaccines developed by German rival BioNTech / Pfizer and US company Moderna were both approved around 18 months ago after showing around 95% effectiveness.
Their trials at the time only had to deal with the original strain of the virus.
CureVac said its jab, known as CVnCoV, worked slightly better in people between the ages of 18 and 60 than it did in older people, with efficiency reaching 53%.
Among this same age group of 18 to 60 years, the vaccine offered 100% protection against hospitalization and death.
“In this latest analysis, CVnCoV demonstrates strong public health value” for people aged 18 to 60, “which we believe will be an important contribution to help manage the Covid-19 pandemic and the spread dynamics of the variant, “CEO Franz-Werner Haas said in a statement.
CureVac’s advanced phase 2b / 3 trial involved some 40,000 people in 10 countries in Europe and Latin America. Of these, 228 have contracted the coronavirus.
CureVac, founded in 2000 by mRNA pioneer Ingmar Hoerr, said in May that independent analysis “found no safety concerns” with its two-dose vaccine.
The company said it had shared its data with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and would give more details at a press conference on Thursday.
Although it lags behind in the vaccine race, CureVac believes it has some advantages over its mRNA competitors.
CureVac product can be stored at standard refrigerator temperature, unlike first generation Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which require very cold freezers.
CureVac’s vaccine also requires a lower dosage, allowing for faster and cheaper mass production.
The European Union has obtained up to 405 million doses of the CureVac vaccine.
The company is already working on a second-generation vaccine for which it has partnered with the pharmaceutical giant
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)