CureVac shelves 1st gen COVID-19 vaccine

Oct. 12, 2021

Germany-based CureVac has officially ended its efforts to win approval for its first-generation mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This week, the company announced that it has withdrawn an application to EU regulators for the vaccine’s approval.

The news comes as no surprise. Earlier this year, the company announced that its mRNA candidate was shown to only be about 48% effective in a pivotal study — an abysmal rate compared to other approved mRNA vaccines on the market.

However, the company has not dropped out of the COVID-19 vaccine race completely. Now, the company said, it is shifting its efforts to a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline to develop a second-generation vaccine candidate that was shown to generate 10 times more antibodies than its first candidate in early animal trials. It is also looking at ways to pair up a COVID-19 shot with other seasonal vaccines. 

Although the withdrawal of its first candidate will mean that CureVac is unable to fulfill the contract it struck with the EU to supply 405 million doses, the company said it hopes to eventually advance a candidate that can contribute to the ongoing need for COVID-19 vaccines across the world.