CureVac says its COVID-19 vaccine was 47% efficacious in trial beset by variants
CureVac said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 47% efficacious against disease of any severity in a phase 2b/3 trial that took place “in the unprecedented context of at least 13 variants circulating within the study population.”
Sequencing conducted during the HERALD study, which included 40,000 participants from 10 countries in Latin America and Europe, showed that wild-type SARS-CoV-2 was “almost completely absent” from the infections, CureVac said in a press release.
Like the authorized COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the CureVac vaccine, CVnCoV, uses messenger RNA technology.
“While we were hoping for a stronger interim outcome, we recognize that demonstrating high efficacy in this unprecedented broad diversity of variants is challenging,” CureVac CEO Franz-Werner Haas, LLD, LLM, said in the release.
The interim analysis included a total of 134 COVID-19 cases, 124 of which were sequenced to identify which virus strain was responsible for infection. Approximately 57% of cases analyzed during the interim analysis were caused by variants of concern, with the remaining cases caused by other variants, including lambda, or C.37 (21%), and B.1.621 (7%). Just one infection was caused by the original virus.
CureVac said it has sent its analysis to the European Medicines Agency and plans to progress to a final analysis within the coming weeks.
“As we are continuing toward the final analysis with a minimum of 80 additional cases, the overall vaccine efficacy may change,” Haas said. “In addition, the variant-rich environment underlines the importance of developing next-generation vaccines as new virus variants continue to emerge.”