Bayer, Germany’s largest pharmaceutical company, inked a deal with CureVac in a bid to accelerate a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleotide acid (mRNA). Moving forward, Bayer will support further development, supply and key territory operations of CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate known as CVnCoV. A very promising candidate, even the outgoing U.S. POTUS invited CureVac’s previous CEO to Washington in a bid to secure an “exclusive” deal at the onset of the pandemic. Much like Pfizer partnered with BioNTech (also German like CureVac), Bayer now will contribute its expertise and established infrastructure in areas such as clinical operations, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, medical information, supply chain and support in countries all over the world.
CureVac will be the Marketing Authorization Holder for the product while Bayer will support CureVac with country operations within the European Union (EU) and selected markets. Moving forward, Bayer holds further options to become the Marketing Authorization Holder in markets outside of Europe. With the two German companies coming together, the combined strengths are notable, positioning CureVac to supply hundreds of millions of doses of CVnCoV worldwide assuming they can achieve regulatory approval. Both combines seek to play a meaningful role in the bid to stop COVID-19.
CureVac on the Move
The company continues to expand its partner network for the development, production and distribution of its vaccine candidate. By November 2020, the company announced it would ramp up its European manufacturing network, collaborating with Wacker and Fareva, amongst others.
By December 14, 2020, CureVac achieved a key milestone in the development of CVnCoV, commencing its pivotal Phase 2b/3 clinical trial. Targeting 36,500 patients, the clinical trial (NCT04652102) predicts and estimated primary completion date just around the corner on March 5, 2021. The entire study won’t be complete until early 2023. The company has only disclosed a handful of European trial sites involved to date including Ghent University Hospital (Belgium), University Hospital (Cologne, Germany) and University Hospital Tübingen Institut für Tropenmedzin (Tübingen, Germany) and University of Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands).