CureVac AG, a Tübingen, Germany-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering mRNA-based drugs for vaccines and therapeutics, confirmed it is making internal efforts focused on the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal to reach and to protect people and patients worldwide.
As a consequence, the company is in contact with especially CEPI and many other organizations and authorities worldwide. They also rejected allegations about offers for acquisition of the company or its technology. According to multiple reports, President Trump tried to bring CureVac to the US to make a “U.S. vaccine” against Covid-19.
Daniel Menichella, CEO, was invited to the White House on March, 3, to discuss strategies and opportunities for the rapid development and production of a coronavirus vaccine with U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and high-ranking representatives of pharmaceutical and biotech companies working on the outbreak’s response.
In the discussion, Menichella highlighted the potential of CureVac’s mRNA platform for vaccine development based on mRNA technology.
“We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months,” said CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella.
“We can rely on the data of a Phase 1 rabies study in which we were able to immunize all participants with a very low dose. On this basis, we are working intensively to achieve a very low dose for the CoV vaccine as well. In addition, CureVac has a GMP-certified production facility which enables us to produce up to ten million vaccine doses in one production run.”
CureVac is currently selecting the most suitable vaccine candidates from several constructs based on quality criteria and biological activity. In parallel, the company is coordinating the development of its program with the German Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) for accelerated clinical development of these vaccine candidates and is in discussions with other European health authorities. These steps will enable the start of clinical trials in early summer 2020. Two primary study centers have already been identified and are in preparation.
CureVac began development of its first mRNA-based vaccine in 2011 and has extensive experience in this field. The company has received financial support for these developments from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the international vaccine initiative CEPI. It has also entered into collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including CEPI, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly & Co, Genmab, CRISPR Therapeutics, the same Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others.
CureVac also has sites in Frankfurt and Boston, USA.