The preliminary low efficacy of CureVac's Corona vaccine is unfairly criticized, according to CEO Franz-Werner Haas. No other vaccine has been tested on so many virus variants, Haas told German Press Agency."It is actually factually incorrect to juxtapose the number of preliminary efficacy of our Corona vaccine and the numbers on the efficacy of other vaccines," Haas said. There were 29 virus variants in the study of the Corona vaccine candidate CVnCov, he said. The original virus, the wild type, hardly plays a role anymore, he said. "The efficacy numbers for the other vaccines would probably look different if their trials had been done at a later date."
Curevac had announced in a regulatory filing Wednesday that its Corona vaccine had preliminary efficacy of 47 percent against covid 19 disease of "any severity," according to an interim analysis. The figure is significantly higher for the other preparations approved in the EU.
The Tübingen-based company plans to complete the analysis of data from the final study phase in the next two to three weeks. Haas is convinced that the efficacy of the vaccine will change once again. As soon as this has been completed, Curevac will discuss with the EMA whether further data are needed.The preliminary effectiveness announcement had triggered a sharp drop in Curevac's stock price. Haas commented: "Nothing has changed in our operating business or in our liquidity since Wednesday."The company remains confident that it can take its vaccine through to approval. According to Haas, even relatively low efficacy should not stand in the way. "In view of the pandemic, the only thing that can be said is that if there is an effective vaccine, it should be used." Haas also pointed to the many developing countries where there are few, if any, Corona vaccines available to date.
CureVac investor Dietmar Hopp also continues to believe in the company. "I am confident that CureVac will be successful," he told the Heidelberg-based "Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung." Hopp told the portal merkur.de that he would "definitely remain as an investor." "I believe rock-solid in the company," he added. The German government is also holding on to its stake in CureVac, the Economics Ministry said Thursday. Last year, the federal government had invested 300 million euros in CureVac through the development bank KfW, giving it a 16 percent stake, according to KfW. However, the federal government has no influence on the operational business, the ministry spokeswoman explained.
Image by Pete Linforth