Building on their existing relationship, GSK and CureVac announced a €150 million collaboration. The goal is to jointly develop next-generation mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.
GSK and CureVac will research, develop, and manufacture novel mRNA vaccine candidates, including multivalent and monovalent approaches. The vaccines should provide broader protection against a wide range of SARS-CoV2 variants and enable rapid response to new virus variants that may emerge in the future. The development program will begin immediately. The plan is to introduce the vaccine in 2022, subject to regulatory approval.
The increase in emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants that could reduce the effectiveness of first-generation COVID-19 vaccines requires an acceleration of efforts to develop vaccines against new variants to stay ahead of the pandemic. Such vaccines may be used either to protect previously unvaccinated individuals or as a booster if COVID-19 immunity acquired through initial vaccination declines over time. In addition, the development of mRNA vaccines to protect against multiple respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, will be explored.
The principle of CureVac’s proprietary technology is to use non-chemically modified mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins that can fight a wide range of diseases. The company has built an extensive clinical pipeline across the areas of prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies, and the treatment of rare diseases.
Under the collaboration agreement, GSK will be the marketing authorization holder for the next-generation vaccine, except in Switzerland, and will have exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the next-generation vaccine in all countries except Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. GSK will make an upfront payment of €75 million and an additional payment of €75 million, conditional on the achievement of specific milestones.
As part of the new collaboration, GSK will also support the manufacture of CureVac’s first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV which is currently in Phase 2b/3 trials. Leveraging its manufacturing network in Belgium, GSK aims to support the manufacturing of up to 100 million doses of the vaccine in 2021.
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