/picture alliance, Bernd Weissbrod
Tübingen / Munich – The biotech company Curevac is downsizing its production network due to the lower demand for its corona vaccine. The contracts with Wacker Chemie and Celonic would be terminated, the company announced yesterday in Tübingen.
The decision was in response to lower short-term peak demand for vaccines following the first wave of pandemic vaccination efforts, it said. This has led to a further “changed demand” for CureVacs first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidates (CVnCoV). This is currently being examined by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It is still unclear whether the EMA will approve the vaccine. At the end of June, Curevac announced that the effectiveness of its vaccine candidate CVnCoV was lower than that of other vaccines. At the beginning of July, the Tübingen-based biotech company assumed that the EMA would approve the vaccine despite its low effectiveness.
According to a final analysis, the Curevac preparation had shown an effectiveness of 48 percent against COVID-19 disease across all age groups.
Curevac did not provide financial details about the consequences of the terminated production partnerships. The contracts with Rentschler Biopharma and Novartis remained in place. CVnCoV will continue to be examined by the European Medicines Agency, it said. A study on CV2CoV, a second-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed in collaboration with GlaxosmithKline, is also expected to begin in the fourth quarter.
The federal government originally planned the Curevac vaccine for the vaccination campaign. The federal government also has an indirect 16 percent stake in Curevac through the KfW state bank. In this way, politicians wanted to secure the company against a possible takeover from abroad. The SAP co-founder and investor Dietmar Hopp holds the largest share in the company. The preparation from the Tübingen-based company is a so-called mRNA vaccine – like that from Biontech / Pfizer (Germany / USA) and Moderna (USA).
The Munich-based company announced that the termination of the contract will not have any major impact on Wacker Chemie. For the Wacker Biosolutions division, this has no significant impact on sales and earnings. Wacker wants to use the capacities freed up in its Dutch vaccine production facility for other customers. © dpa / aerzteblatt.de