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CureVac Says CV2CoV Showed High Immunogenicity Against Virus Variants In Preclinical Study

Biopharmaceutical company CureVac N.V. (CVAC) announced Thursday that its second generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CvnCoV, demonstrated high immunogenicity against virus variants in preclinical study. The first clinical trials for CV2CoV are expected to start in the third quarter of 2021.

CV2CoV is being developed in collaboration between Germany's CureVac and GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK). This second generation vaccine candidate differs from CureVac's first-generation vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, currently in late-stage clinical testing.

The new CV2CoV vaccine candidate is based on a new mRNA backbone that features targeted optimizations designed to improve intracellular mRNA stability and translation for increased and extended protein expression.

CV2CoV showed high levels of antigen production in rat model. There was also a fast onset of strong neutralizing antibody titers after first vaccination and high cross-neutralizing capacity of induced antibodies against selected COVID-19 variants of concern, including the Denmark variant (B.1.1.298), the UK variant (B.1.1.7) and the South African variant (B.1.351).

CureVac and GlaxoSmithKline aim to jointly develop second-generation vaccine candidates that offer improved immune responses and target emerging variants. Combined with lower doses, these second-generation vaccines could enable also broad protection against selected strains in a multivalent vaccine format.

The COVID-19 collaboration between CureVac and GlaxoSmithKline announced in February 2021 extends the existing strategic mRNA technology partnership both companies entered in July 2020.

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