With mRNA-based coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna showing promise in late-stage studies, another company working on a midstage mRNA candidate has inked a large supply deal with the EU.
CureVac, a German biotech, has agreed to supply the bloc with 225 million doses initially, with an option for another 180 million doses, Reuters reports. The European Commission is set to authorize the deal on Tuesday, and the price per dose was not disclosed, according to the news service.
The EU already had COVID-19 vaccine supply deals with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Pfizer, and the CureVac accord brings its potential supply to nearly 2 billion doses, Reuters reports. Still, each agreement is contingent on the programs proving to be safe and effective in clinical trials.
CureVac pushed its program into phase 2a testing in Peru and Panama back in September. The company recently unveiled some promising early data, but tolerability remains a question.
Last week, the company touted the candidate’s stability after Pfizer posted impressive early efficacy figures for its mRNA shot. While Pfizer’s vaccine requires storage at -94 degrees Fahrenheit and will only last for 24 hours at refrigerated temperatures, CureVac says its candidate is stable for at least three months at refrigerated temperatures and up to 24 hours at room temperature. Still, Pfizer's vaccine was more than 90% effective in an interim efficacy analysis.
And Monday, Moderna said its vaccine was 94.5% effective at the first interim analysis. Separately, the biotech said the candidate is stable in a refrigerator for 30 days and can be kept at room temperature for 12 hours.