CureVac Covid vaccine is only 47% effective in initial data, shares reservoir

A volunteer receives a dose of CureVac vaccine or a placebo during a study by German biotechnology company CureVac as part of a test for a new vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium, March 2, 2021.

Yves Herman | Reuters

CureVac stock plunged 50% into extended trading on Wednesday after the German biopharmaceutical company released preliminary efficacy results for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate which did not meet the criteria for success.

The vaccine candidate has demonstrated an intermediate efficacy of 47% against Covid-19 disease “of any severity”, according to A press release. The company said final analysis of the results will be completed in the coming weeks.

The advanced stage clinical trial of approximately 40,000 participants in 10 countries found a high prevalence of viral variants, particularly the lambda strain first detected in South America.

“While we were hoping for a more solid intermediate result, we recognize that it is difficult to demonstrate high efficiency in this unprecedented wide variety of variants,” CEO Franz-Werner Haas said in a statement. “As we continue towards the final analysis with a minimum of 80 additional cases, the overall efficacy of the vaccine may change.”

The study also found varying levels of effectiveness for different age groups, according to the release.

CureVac is also working on a separate Covid vaccine candidate in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. The companies plan to launch clinical trials on this candidate in the third quarter of 2021, CureVac said on Wednesday.

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