47% effective against Covid cases: too little. The “flop” of the CureVac vaccine, based on messenger RNA technology like those of Pfizer and Moderna, has not only halved the value of the shares of the German pharmaceutical company that produces it (the drop on the stock market was 50.6%) but it has put the European Union in difficulty, which precisely with Curevac hoped to give a significant acceleration to the vaccination campaign.
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On November 17, the EU had in fact signed, on behalf of the 27 member states, a preliminary purchase agreement for 225 million doses of Curevac to be supplied “as soon as the safety and efficacy of the vaccine against Covid-19 are demonstrated “. Which, unfortunately, did not happen. “We had hoped for more robust results in the analysis,” admitted laboratory CEO Franz-Werner Haas, “but we found that it is difficult to achieve high efficacy with this unprecedented range of variants. The final effectiveness could change “, added the CEO,” but more than a setback it seems to be facing a point of no return “. CureVac had started development of the vaccine in January 2020, at the same time as the BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna laboratories which were the first to obtain the green light from various regulatory authorities to market their product. As mentioned, Europe had decided to focus on the German vaccine: the preliminary purchase agreement also included the option of supplying an additional 180 million vaccines. And for Italy 30.2 million doses were expected.
But it doesn’t stop there. The uncertainty about the contract is also destined to reflect on the loans collected by the German company and allocated by the European Union and the Berlin government. On 6 July CureVac signed a € 75 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank aimed at the development and production of vaccines. With the same reason, Germany had assigned 252 million euros to CureVac as part of an extraordinary program set up by the Ministry of Research.
The European Commission, before deciding what to do with the contract signed with CureVac must now “wait for the conclusion of the trials and evaluation by the EMA, but the contract contains some termination clauses related to the authorization of the European Medicines Agency “. This was stated by Stefan De Keersmaecker, spokesman for the Commission.
“With these data, it’s over for CureVac,” pharmacologist Silvio Garattini, president of the Mario Negri Institute, commented to breaking latest news.