The German biotechnology company CureVac has registered the first participant for a final clinical study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the company announced on Monday.
CureVac based in Tübingen
The Phase 2b / 3 study will include more than 35,000 volunteers aged 18 and over who will be enrolled in multiple locations in Europe and Latin America.
CureVac's shares rose 7.91% to $ 126 prior to trading.
"The clinical safety and immunogenicity data we have obtained so far are encouraging and we hope this study will continue to demonstrate the impact of mRNA technology and our vaccine," said Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of CureVac.
CureVac uses what is known as the messenger RNA approach, just like its rival BioNTech
and pharmaceutical company Pfizer
and Biotech Moderna
The approach instructs cells to make proteins to generate an immune response that protects against a virus.
Read: Medical experts vote for FDA approval of vaccine candidate Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19
In contrast to BioNTech
Vaccine that must be stored at -70 ° C. The experimental shot of CureVac stays for at least three months at standard refrigerator temperatures and up to 24 hours as a ready-to-use vaccine when stored at room temperature.
The vaccine candidate is being developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca
Oxford University can also be stored at normal refrigerator-like temperatures, which makes it easier to store and transport.
CureVac's Phase 3 study begins after the company released additional clinical data on the performance of its vaccine candidate in a Phase 1 clinical study in November. The study tested different doses of the vaccine at two doses in adults between the ages of 18 and 60 years. All doses produced an immune response. At this point, CureVac said it selected the 12 microgram dose to move forward in Phase 2 and 3 studies.
Read: CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine shows immune response in phase 1 study
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, announced a new supply agreement with CureVac for 405 million doses of its vaccine candidate.
CureVac was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Aug. 14 and raised $ 213 million after the federal government paid $ 300 million for a 23 percent stake in the company.
The company is also supported by Microsoft
Founder and billionaire Bill Gates and the German biotech investor Dietmar Hopp. In July, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline
acquired a 10% interest in CureVac for up to £ 866 million (US $ 1.16 billion) to develop up to five mRNA-based vaccines and monoclonal antibodies against infectious diseases.
Last month, CureVac announced it was building a European network to advance manufacturing of its vaccine candidate, producing up to 300 million doses in 2021 and up to 600 million doses in 2022.