• Data indicate that specifically optimized mRNA vaccines constitute a potent platform for human prophylaxis

TÜBINGEN, Germany / BOSTON, USA – October 23, 2017

CureVac AG, a fully-integrated biotechnology company pioneering mRNA-based drugs, today announced the publication of a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Partner Journals Vaccines, demonstrating that vaccines based on CureVac’s sequence optimized, chemically unmodified mRNA formulated in optimized lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are highly immunogenic and well tolerated.

The paper, titled “Unmodified mRNA in LNPs constitutes a competitive technology for prophylactic vaccines,” by Lutz et al., reported results from a pre-clinical immunization study which demonstrated, for the first time, that a single intramuscular vaccination with LNP-formulated, chemically unmodified mRNAs encoding rabies or influenza antigens leads to a strong induction of local innate immune responses and systemic adaptive immune responses. The vaccines were well tolerated and induced long-lived functional antibody responses that correlated with protection for rabies and influenza virus. Notably, the humoral and cellular immune responses induced by LNP-formulated mRNA vaccines against rabies and influenza H3N2 were superior to the licensed vaccines Rabipur® and Fluad®, respectively. These results closely align with prior published research, which demonstrated that mRNA vaccines are immunogenic and capable of inducing protection against lethal rabies and influenza virus infections after intradermal vaccination in various animal models.1,2

Mariola Fotin-Mleczek, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of CureVac commented, “The findings published in npj Vaccines add to the growing body of research which indicate that our chemically unmodified, formulated mRNA is highly immunogenic and well tolerated. Importantly, in a comparison of mRNA vaccines to licensed vaccines, we demonstrated that unmodified mRNA, encoding single antigens, formulated in optimized LNPs, fulfills all the key requirements to be a viable vaccine platform for human prophylaxis. These results lead to another important milestone for CureVac’s RNActive® Prophylactic Vaccine technology development.”

The full study in npj Vaccines can be found here.

Schnee, M. et al. An mRNA Vaccine Encoding Rabies Virus Glycoprotein Induces Protection against Lethal Infection in Mice and Correlates of Protection in Adult and Newborn Pigs. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 10, e0004746 (2016)
2 Petsch, B. et al. Protective efficacy of in vitro synthesized, specific mRNA vaccines against influenza A virus infection. Nat. Biotechnol. 30, 1210–1216 (2012)