CureVac (CVAC) Stock Falls Sharply After Dropping Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate, Will Work Instead to Develop Second-generation mRNA Vaccine with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

October 12, 2021 9:12 AM EDT
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Shares of CureVac (NASDAQ: CVAC) are down over 13% in pre-open Tuesday after the company said it will scrap its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, from the current approval process with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Instead, the strategic decision has been made to focus its COVID-19 vaccine development towards the development of second-generation mRNA vaccine candidates in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), whose shares rose 3% on the announcement.

“The global fight against COVID-19 continues, and we remain committed to making a difference with a safe and efficacious vaccine. This goal has not changed, but the requirements to effectively address the virus and emerging variants have changed. In the ongoing transition from acute pandemic to endemic, our decision to withdraw CVnCoV from the regulatory approval process and focus our efforts on second-generation mRNA vaccine candidates reflects expected changes in public health needs that our second generation can potentially address,” said Franz-Werner Haas, Chief Executive Officer of CureVac.

CureVac decided to shift its priority as CVnCoV couldn’t receive the potential approval for CVnCoV prior to the second quarter of 2022. By this time, CureVac expects the second-generation vaccine program candidates to have progressed to late-stage clinical development.

“We welcome CureVac’s focus on the promising second-generation mRNA vaccine technology we are developing together as it has shown strong improvement compared to CureVac’s first-generation candidate, CVnCoV, in pre-clinical testing. To complement the development of this second generation non-modified mRNA technology, we have also initiated the development of modified mRNA technologies as part of our collaboration,” Rino Rappuoli, Head of Vaccines R&D, GSK said.

Shares of CureVac are down 50% YTD.

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