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12 Oct 2021

CureVac Shifts Focus to Second-Generation Vaccine

The Index Today

Germany’s CureVac has announced it will shift focus to developing a new version of a covid-19 vaccine and halt its most advanced vaccine for now.

In the field of the latest vaccine developments, Pfizer, BionTech and Moderna have taken the center stage where others a scrambling to acquire supplies of the vaccine. With the need of booster shots seen in the near future, firms like CureVac may have a chance of meeting the demand with new vaccine rollouts.

Experts say if new vaccine development offers an edge or a form of improvement compared to existing vaccines, those companies may be able to dominate the market. CureVac was once considered as a rival in the vaccine field but ended up lagging due to low efficacy results. This led to the company now moving towards developing booster shots.

CureVac Chief Executive Franz-Werner Haas said, “We are not giving up on a covid vaccine. We are giving up on the first product for the sake of the second one.”

Johnson & Johnson was among the leading vaccine developers but lost popularity due to high risk of blood clots associated with the vaccine. Vaccine production is expected to reach 12 billion by the end of 2021 and 24 billion by mid of next year. The main producers of the covid vaccine are expected to include Pfizer, AstraZenaca, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

CureVac is still working to dominate a niche in the ever-growing market despite previous failures. Klaus Edvardsen from CureVac said, “At that time-point, parts of the world without access to vaccines at the moment probably will be covered by others. It is the right approach not to lock our resources in trying to secure an approval that would not lead to many patients or individuals actually being vaccinated.”
The company is working on making changes and modifications to help develop a more powerful and effective vaccine. Previously, the CureVac vaccine had an efficacy rate of below 50% and more risks of side effects. Researchers are hoping to make a second-generation vaccine which comes with multiple modifications and better results.

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