Glaxo joins the Curevac mRNA vaccine pile-in

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At the moment it seems you can never have too many mRNA vaccine options, which could explain why Glaxosmithkline is now the proud owner of 10% of Curevac. In a deal worth £260m ($324m) upfront, Glaxo has paid £130m for an equity stake in the private German company, £104m to help fund development of mRNA vaccines and an additional £26m to secure future vaccine manufacturing capacity. This manufacturing capacity, which could reach four billion annual doses by 2022, might be one of the most attractive elements of deal, particularly since Glaxo is already working on its own mRNA vaccines and given that Curevac’s Covid-19 mRNA and rabies vaccine programmes are not included in today’s collaboration. Glaxo’s investment also indicates that the valuation of Curevac is rising, albeit slowly. A previous €300m ($343m) investment from the German government in June, securing it a 23% stake, valued Curevac at €1.3bn; today’s financing by Glaxo puts the company’s worth at €1.4bn ($1.6bn). The question will be what this means for Curevac’s IPO plans. Delaying until a positive result with its vaccine would secure it more money; equally, if the vaccine is a bust, the valuation will fall substantially.  

Selected mRNA vaccines in development for Covid-19
Company/org Vaccine Type Detail
Moderna/NIAID mRNA-1273 mRNA vaccine 45/45 volunteers producing strong neutralising antibody levels
Biontech/Pfizer BNT162b1 mRNA (modRNA) vaccine 36/36 volunteers producing strong neutralising antibody levels
Biontech/Pfizer BNT162a1, BNT162b2 & BNT162c2 mRNA (uRNA, modRNA & saRNA) vaccines Phase 1 data due Jul 2020
Curevac CVnCoV mRNA vaccine Phase 1 started Jun 2020
Translate Bio/Sanofi ? mRNA vaccine Phase 1 starting Q4 2020
Source: WHO list, EvaluatePharma & company statements.

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