Covid: CureVac’s vaccine candidate only 47% effective, according to interim analysis

The messenger RNA vaccine does not meet the required criteria at this stage, said the German laboratory, which has signed a major ordering contract with the European Union.

The German laboratory announced on Wednesday that its main candidate vaccine against COVID-19 had only shown an efficacy of 47%, according to the interim analysis of a large-scale clinical trial, and did not meet the requirements at this stage. required criteria.

The vaccine “Achieved a preliminary efficacy of 47% against COVID-19, regardless of its severity, not meeting the pre-specified statistical criteria of success”, said in a press release the laboratory which has signed a major order contract with the European Union for this messenger RNA vaccine.

«Final efficiency could still change“, Warns the CEO of the laboratory Franz-Werner Haas, quoted in the press release, which particularly questions the difficulties posed by the appearance of variants of the new coronavirus. “We had hoped for more robust results in the interim analysis, but found that it is difficult to achieve high efficacy with this unprecedented range of variants. We continue the study until the final analysisHe adds.

Accumulated delays

CureVac embarked on the race to develop a vaccine in January 2020, at the same time as the BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna laboratories which were the first to obtain the green light from various regulatory authorities to market their product, also based on innovative messenger RNA technology.

This is the first efficacy result published by the German laboratory which is conducting the final phase of its large-scale clinical trials, with around 40,000 volunteers in Europe and Latin America. Of these, a total of 134 cases of patients who contracted COVID were studied, the statement said, and 124 were sequenced to identify the variants that caused each infection. However, only one case turned out to be the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, while “more than half of cases (57%)Were caused by variants considered of concern by the WHO.

The Tübingen laboratory (south) was at the start of the pandemic considered one of the most promising for developing a vaccine. The European Commission has signed a contract with biotech for the purchase of 405 million doses. CureVac initially thought to seek its approval in Europe in late May or early June when it has already initiated a continuous review procedure with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as the results are published. The German authorities had recently anticipated a delay, relying instead on August, pending efficiency results.

The laboratory has joined forces with Swiss pharmaceutical giants Novartis and German Bayer for the production phases. At the same time, it is developing so-called second-generation vaccines, taking into account variants, but whose development is less advanced.

To see also – Olivier Véran welcomes the launch of vaccination for 12-17 year olds

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