11/18/2021 | CureVac AG | News

CureVac Publishes in Nature Preclinical Data of Second-Generation COVID-19 Candidate, CV2CoV, Demonstrating Comparable Antibody Levels to Licensed mRNA Vaccine

TÜBINGEN, Germany / BOSTON, USA – November 18, 2021

CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC), a global biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (“mRNA”), today announced the online publication of the extended preclinical study of the second-generation vaccine candidate, CV2CoV, jointly developed with GSK, in the journal Nature. The newly published data features a direct comparison of CV2CoV with the licensed mRNA vaccine, Comirnaty® (Pfizer/BioNTech). Neutralizing antibody levels measured following full vaccination of animals with either 12µg of CV2CoV or a 30µg standard dose of Comirnaty® were shown to be highly comparable.

The data confirm how targeted optimizations of a non-chemically modified mRNA can significantly improve immune responses in a preclinical model, providing substantiated support for the unmodified mRNA technology approach. This applies not only to the development of advanced COVID-19 vaccines but to the mRNA technology field as a whole.

The study, conducted in collaboration with Dan Barouch, MD, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, investigated immune responses as well as the protective efficacy of CV2CoV and first-generation candidate, CVnCoV, against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in cynomolgus macaques. It was made available via the bioRxiv preprint server in August 2021. For additional details, please refer to the previously issued press release.

About the Study

Within the study, CV2CoV and CVnCoV were tested in cynomolgus macaques immunized with a 12µg dose of the respective candidate on day 0 and day 28. For comparison with Comirnaty®, animals were vaccinated twice, on day 0 and day 21, with 30µg of the licensed vaccine and antibody titers were measured at peak immunity at week 5. Within the comparison of CV2CoV with CVnCoV, CV2CoV consistently showed better activation of innate and adaptive immune responses, resulting in earlier response onset, higher antibody titers and stronger memory B and T cell activation. Higher antibody neutralizing capacity was observed with CV2CoV across a range of relevant variants, including the Delta variant. During challenge with the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, animals vaccinated with CV2CoV were found to be better protected than animals vaccinated with CVnCoV based on effective clearance of the virus in the lungs and nasal passages.

About CV2CoV

CV2CoV is CureVac’s first candidate based on the advanced second-generation mRNA backbone from the broad second-generation program currently developed in collaboration with GSK. The vaccine candidate, presently at a preclinical development stage, is a non-chemically modified mRNA, encoding the prefusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and formulated within Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs). CV2CoV was engineered with specifically optimized non-coding regions to exhibit improved mRNA translation for increased and extended protein expression compared the first-generation mRNA backbone.

About CureVac

CureVac is a global biopharmaceutical company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, with more than 20 years of expertise in developing and optimizing the versatile biological molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac’s proprietary technology is the use of optimized mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a broad range of diseases. In July 2020, CureVac entered in a collaboration with GSK to jointly develop new products in prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases based on CureVac’s second-generation mRNA technology. This collaboration was later extended to the development of second-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidates, and modified mRNA vaccine technologies. Based on its proprietary technology, CureVac has built a deep clinical pipeline across the areas of prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies, and the treatment of rare diseases. CureVac had its initial public offering on the New York Nasdaq in August 2020. It is headquartered in Tübingen, Germany, and employs more than 700 people at its sites in Tübingen, Frankfurt, and Boston, USA. Further information can be found at www.curevac.com.

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