This page includes:

  • Information about coronaviruses in general,
  • Information on CureVac’s activities regarding an mRNA-based vaccine against COVID-19,
  • Frequently asked questions about our vaccine activities (FAQ),
  • Quotations from three members of our Board of Management.

We are proud being part of the international efforts to protect people worldwide from the novel coronavirus. We are aware of our global responsibility and want to use our specific know how and technological potential to support the fight against the current health emergency.

About coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can lead to respiratory illness, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people and can evolve into strains not previously identified in humans. On January 7, 2020, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was identified as the cause of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China, and numerous other cases have since then been found in almost every country around the globe.

For more information about the coronavirus as well as the current situation, please consult the following national and international organizations and public authorities:

CureVac's activities regarding an mRNA-based vaccine against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic poses one of the greatest challenges humankind has faced in the past century. Developing vaccines is the most cost-effective way to save lives and to neutralize the grave threat posed by deadly virus. At CureVac, we aim to leverage our unique technology to provide life-saving solutions for people and patients worldwide. Our prophylactic vaccines represent a novel technology, which can enable production of safe, efficacious and cost-effective vaccines for a range of infectious diseases.

Therefore, we are currently developing a vaccine against the coronavirus based on our mRNA technology that is especially suitable to provide a rapid response to this viral outbreak situation. All our internal efforts are focused on this challenge with the goal to reach, help and protect people all over the globe: We declared COVID-19 our core project.

General information

  • CureVac’s technology and mRNA platform are specifically suitable to rapidly provide an answer to a viral outbreak situation like this.
  • We engaged in the prophylactic vaccine area since 2007.
  • We have already worked on coronavirus/MERS in 2017.
  • We have achieved positive Rabies data, which means immunization at a very low dose.
  • We have the capability to manufacture mRNA-based vaccines in a huge scale.
  • We are in discussions with health authorities as well as institutions and organizations regarding the development, production and clinical process of a coronavirus vaccine, e.g. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

About our mRNA technology

With our mRNA technology, we instruct the human body to activate its own defense mechanism. To that, we use the natural messenger substance mRNA that contains the construction manual needed to produce proteins. We program this messenger substance with the information about one protein of the coronavirus and inject it into the human body. The body recognizes the protein produced by our cells as something unknown and activates its immune cells to produce antibodies and T-cells against it. In this way, we imitate the natural viral infection and activate the endogenous defense system.

Please check out our mode of action video for more information on how our technology works.

Timeline of CureVac's activities regarding a coronavirus vaccine

Early January 2020

  • CureVac started the program when the sequence of the novel coronavirus was published.

End of January 2020

  • CureVac and CEPI extend their cooperation to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus. The cooperation includes an additional initial funding of up to $8.3 million by CEPI for the accelerated vaccine development, manufacturing and clinical tests.

March 2020

  • CureVac has selected the most suitable vaccine candidates from several constructs based on quality criteria and bio logical 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. Furthermore, CureVac is in discussions with other European health authorities.
  • Two primary study centers have already been identified and are in preparation for the clinical trials.
  • The European Commission offered up to €80 million of financial support to CureVac to scale up the development and production of a vaccine against the coronavirus in Europe.

Mid of May 2020

  • CureVac announced positive pre-clinical results at a low dose for its lead vaccine candidate against the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Coronavirus lead vaccine candidate has generated high level of virus neutralizing titers after two 2 microgram dose vaccinations in pre-clinical experiments.

Mid of June 2020

  • CureVac receives regulatory approval from German and Belgian Authorities to initiate Phase 1 clinical trial of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.

Early September 2020

  • CureVac receives a grant of up to 252 million Euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the further COVID-19 vaccine development and the expansion of its production capacity.

End of September 2020

  • CureVac initiates Phase 2a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Peru and Panama.

October 23, 2020

  • CureVac reports positive preclinical data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV in mice and hamsters. The full manuscript of the preclinical data is available on the pre-print server bioRxiv and was submitted for potential publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Early November 2020

  • CureVac reports positive interim Phase 1 data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV:
    • Balanced immune response with strong induction of binding, and neutralizing antibodies and first indications of T cell activation
    • Quality of immune response comparable to recovered COVID-19 patients, closely mimicking immune response after natural COVID-19 infection
    • CVnCoV generally well tolerated across tested dose range of 2-12µg
    • Data support 12µg dose for pivotal Phase 2b/3 clinical trial
    • On track to initiate pivotal Phase 2b/3 before end of 2020

Mid of November 2020

  • CureVac publishes positive stability data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV:
    • Data for COVID-19 vaccine candidate support at least three months of stability at +5°C (+41°F)
    • Up to 24 hours of stability established at room temperature
    • Potential to fulfil standard vaccine cold chain requirements, with positive impact on distribution, cost and wastage
  • CureVac establishes European-based network to ramp up manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV:
    • Building an integrated European vaccine manufacturing network with experienced partners
    • Managing supply chain risk by collaborating with several partners for each manufacturing step
    • Increasing capacity to reach up to 300 million doses in 2021 and up to 600 million doses in 2022

Frequently asked questions about our vaccine activities (FAQ)

General questions


What are the requirements for the development and production of a coronavirus vaccine?

The basis is our 20 years of know how in mRNA technology. Our mRNA-based platform allows us to react fast and flexible on such outbreaks. We also have the manufacturing capabilities to produce a vaccine in a significant amount of doses. Furthermore, clinical tests and the regulatory approval process are important steps on the way of a coronavirus vaccine.


What do you mean with vaccine platform technology?

The term “vaccine platform technology” broadly refers to a system that uses the same basic components as a backbone, but can be easily adapted for use against different pathogens by inserting new sequences.


When could CureVac deliver a coronavirus vaccine?

We started with first clinical trials in June 2020. Besides the data, it depends strongly on the regulatory authorities when a vaccine could be available on the market.


What is the difference of your vaccine approach in contrast to "traditional" vaccine development?

Traditional vaccine approaches administer live or inactivated pathogens or use recombinant protein to generate an immune response. However, the mRNA vaccine candidate delivers mRNA into a cell of the vaccine, instructing it to produce a specific protein or antigen (i.e., a foreign substance that induces an immune response). The induced immune response is directed against the encoded protective antigen. To prevent degradation of the mRNA and improve vaccine effectiveness, the mRNA is also encapsulated in a protective shell.


Our development


Which criteria have been important for the selection of the best vaccine candidates?

Quality criteria, tolerability and biological activity have been important for the selection of the best vaccine candidates.


Why could the phase 1 rabies data be relevant for the development of a coronavirus vaccine?

In that trial, we investigate a rabies vaccine that was produced via the same platform, as we will use for the coronavirus. We can therefore assume that the immune responses and the safety information we gather via that study are indicative for what will happen in the clinical study on the coronavirus. Notably we saw that our platform has the potential to stimulate an immune response with a low dose vaccine, which would allow us, after further development, to produce more vaccine doses overall to be able to protect a larger part of the population.


Manufacturing


How many doses of coronavirus vaccine can you produce?

Based on the low dosing of our rabies vaccine in humans, we have the capacity to produce up to several hundred million doses of bulk RNA material per annum with our current GMP III facility. Beyond that, we are planning to put a new GMP IV suite into operation within two years where we can produce one billion or more doses per year.


Quotations from members of our Board of Management

About CureVac

CureVac is a global biopharmaceutical company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, with more than 20 years of expertise in developing and optimizing the versatile biological molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac’s proprietary technology is the use of non-chemically modified mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a broad range of diseases. Based on its proprietary technology, the company has built a deep clinical pipeline across the areas of prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies, and the treatment of rare diseases. CureVac had its initial public offering on the New York Nasdaq in August 2020. It is headquartered in Tübingen, Germany, and employs more than 500 people at its sites in Tübingen, Frankfurt, and Boston, USA. Further information can be found at www.curevac.com.

CureVac-QueriesMedia Queries

Thorsten Schüller
Vice President Communications

CureVac AG, Tübingen, Germany
T +49 7071 9883-1577

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CureVac-QueriesInvestor Queries

Dr. Sarah Fakih
Vice President Investor Relations

CureVac AG, Tübingen, Germany
T +49 7071 9883-1298
M +49 160 – 90496949

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