Covid19 – CureVac shot fails pivotal vaccine trial
CureVac NV said its Covid-19 vaccine was 47% effective, falling well short of the high bar set by other messenger RNA shots in a preliminary analysis of a large study muddied by the spread of virus variants.
The interim analysis of data from about 40,000 volunteers included 134 Covid cases, the German company said in a statement. CureVac declined to say how many who got the shot got sick or how many received a placebo. But the results suggest the vaccine works less well for older people than in a younger population, Chief Technology Officer Mariola Fotin-Mleczek said in an interview Wednesday.
The shot could be a boost in the developing world, since it doesn’t require the deep freezing needed for other Covid shots. Partly owned by the German government, CureVac has forged partnerships with Bayer AG, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and the U.K. government aimed at speeding production of its shot and future versions that will target mutated strains.
The company added that the interim results suggest the vaccine is effective in younger participants but did not prove efficacy in those above age 60, the age group most at risk for severe Covid-19.
The stakes for CureVac and prospective buyers of its vaccine in Europe had risen after age limits were imposed on the use of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines due to a link to extremely rare but potentially fatal clotting disorders.
Shortfalls in AstraZeneca’s and J&J’s supply chain have also slowed the European vaccination campaign. It was also hoped that CureVac’s shot could play an important role in low and middle-income countries, who have fallen far behind in the global immunisation drive.