Poor efficacy confirmed for Curevac

The final readout from Curevac’s Covid-19 vaccine trial makes for no nicer reading than the interim results, released in mid-June, and the project's chances of making it to market look slim. The case numbers in the phase 2/3 Herald trial, now fully adjudicated, show an improvement in efficacy by just one point. The best possible future for CVnCoV is limited approvals in patients aged 18-60, in whom efficacy was slightly better. But this appears to be a post-hoc analysis – the only age-defined subgroup in the trial’s protocol was those aged 61 and over, and Curevac admitted that the trial data in over-60s did not enable a determination of efficacy. The company blamed the variants circulating in Europe and Latin America, where the trial was conducted, but with other seemingly more effective options, this argument could fail to hold water with regulators. Analysts from Berenberg state that there is no change to the European Commission’s advance purchase agreement for 225 million doses, so perhaps Curevac will still get a pay day. If so, it could put the money towards its second-gen product, which Curevac and partner Glaxosmithkline reckon can reach the clinic this quarter.

Curevac's Herald trial (NCT04652102) of CVnCoV - final data 
  Cases w vaccine  Cases with placebo Efficacy
    Overall efficacy 83 145 48%
Patients aged 18-60   
    Overall efficacy 71 136 53%
    Protection against moderate to severe disease 9 36 77%
    Protection against hospitalisation or death 0 6 100%
    Efficacy against variants of concern     51%
    Efficacy against variants of interest     35%
    Efficacy against Alpha strain     55%
    Efficacy against Gamma strain     67%
    Efficacy against Lambda strain     21%
    Efficacy against B.1.621 (Colombia) strain     14%
    Efficacy against other strains     51%
Source: company release. 

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