After the flop in clinical tests, Tübingen-based Curevac NV is massively reducing the production of its COVID vaccines.
After an effectiveness of only 47% in approval studies, the chances of the Tübingen mRNA vaccine pioneer to participate in the current billion dollar market for COVID-19 vaccines had fallen to almost zero. Now Curevac NV, previously supported with a state investment of 300 million euros, is taking the consequences of halving the market value and is shutting down production. The production contracts with the German Wacker AG and the Swiss contract manufacturer Celonic were terminated.
The contracts with Rentschler Biopharma SE and Novartis AG for the production and formulation of mRNA remain in place. Because the Tübingen-based company is already working with the British GlaxoSmithKline on a second-generation COVID-19 vaccine in view of the diminishing protective effect against virus variants. Clinical test material for CV2CoV derivatives is required for this. Although CureVac’s CVnCoV vaccine failed in a phase III study in June, the company is therefore still aiming for EU approval.
The decision comes at a time when the biopharmaceutical industry is “continuously increasing” its mRNA capacities, according to Dr. Malte Greune, CureVac’s Chief Operating Officer. This increase in capacity in connection with the large-scale vaccination measures that are already underway “have significantly changed the demand for our first-generation COVID-19 vaccine,” continued Greune.