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Thursday, August 20, 2020

CureVac (CVAC) and EU in advanced talks for 225 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

  • CureVac has said its Covid-19 vaccine could be ready for the public by mid-2021

Shares of CureVac NV soared Thursday after the German biotech firm said it was in advanced talks for the supply of at least 225 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine to EU member states.

CureVac said talks with the EC, the European Union’s executive arm, include an option to supply an additional 180 million doses, once the mRNA-based vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against Covid-19, bringing the total to up to 405 million doses.

The EC is also in talks with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and France’s Sanofi (SNY) for their vaccines under development. It also reached an agreement last week with AstraZeneca (AZN) to buy at least 300 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine which it is developing with Oxford University.

CureVac (CVAC) is specializing in the messenger RNA technology that is the basis of many of the leading Covid-19 vaccine programs, including Moderna Inc. (MRNA) and BioNTech S.E. (BNTX).

“In the current pandemic, we are very pleased to further strengthen the European Commission’s endeavor to provide rapid access to a safe and effective vaccine against the Covid-19 virus across Europe and beyond,” Franz-Werner Haas, chief executive of CureVac said.

“Assuming positive results from our ongoing clinical trials and approval from the regulatory authorities, we are fully committed to ensure broad access to our vaccine,” he added.

Backed by Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates, CureVac listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Aug. 14, raising $213 million.

In July, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) said it was taking a stake in CureVac, the latest move by a major drugmaker to boost capabilities to fight pandemics. FTSE 100-listed Glaxo said CureVac’s mRNA technology would complement its own capabilities as it inked a deal worth up to £866 million ($1.09 billion).

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