: German vaccine maker CureVac ramps up capacity to 300 million COVID-19 doses in 2021

: German vaccine maker CureVac ramps up capacity to 300 million COVID-19 doses in 2021

18 Nov    Finance News

CureVac expects to announce partnerships with vaccine developers and manufacturers in the coming weeks to ramp up capacity of its potential vaccine candidate.

thomas kienzle/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

German biotech CureVac is setting up a European network to ramp up manufacturing of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, allowing it to produce up to 300 million doses in 2021 and up to 600 million in 2022.

CureVac CVAC, -10.72% said in a statement on Tuesday that it will build a broad European vaccine manufacturing network using expertise and capacity in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Austria, as well as potentially Sweden, Poland, Italy and Ireland.

Tübingen-based CureVac expects to announce partnerships with vaccine developers and manufacturers in coming weeks.

“It is our goal to ramp up the production capacity of our vaccine candidate within a short period of time to ensure a stable supply,” said Dr. Florian von der Mülbe, CureVac’s chief production officer, in a statement.

CureVac is using the so-called messenger RNA approach, the same as rivals BioNTech BNTX, -5.01% and its partner Pfizer PFE, +1.84%, as well as Moderna MRNA, -4.90%, which instructs cells to create proteins to generate an immune response protecting against a virus.

No RNA vaccine has yet been approved by regulators.

Read: 5 things to know about BioNTech and the married couple developing the COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer

CureVac’s announcement comes a day after the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, announced a new supply agreement with the German biotech for 405 million doses of its vaccine candidate.

“If the vaccine has proven safe and effective against COVID-19, every Member State will receive the vaccine at the same time, on a pro rata basis, and under the same conditions,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in a statement.

“This is the fifth contract with a pharmaceutical company for our COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. And we are working on a sixth one, with Moderna,” von der Leyen said, adding that she hoped to complete the contract shortly.

Read: Moderna shares soar premarket after COVID-19 vaccine candidate achieves 94.5% efficacy in Phase 3 trial

The Commission has already signed contracts with Janssen Pharmaceutica, a division of Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.99%, as well as with AstraZeneca AZN, -2.36%, Sanofi SNY, -0.78% and GSK GSK, -2.39%.

Last week, CureVac disclosed additional clinical data about how its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is performing in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Read: CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine shows immune response in Phase 1 trial

It had previously disclosed some clinical data from the trial on Nov. 2 showing that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine triggered a good immune response in humans, placing it on track to launch the final stage of testing before the end of 2020.

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