Curevac headquarters in Tübingen
Photo: Eibner-Pressefoto / imago images / Eibner
It should have been a success story - but after the corona vaccine from Curevac performed disappointingly in studies, the biotech company is now downsizing its production network.
The Tübingen-based company announced that the contracts with Wacker Chemie and Celonic would be terminated.
The decision was in response to lower short-term peak demand for vaccines following the first wave of pandemic vaccination efforts, it said. This has led to a further "changed demand" for CureVacs Covid-19 vaccine candidates of the first generation (CVnCoV). This is currently being examined by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It is still unclear whether the EMA will approve the vaccine. At the end of June, Curevac announced that the effectiveness of its vaccine candidate CVnCoV was lower than that of other vaccines. At the beginning of July, the Tübingen-based biotech company assumed that the EMA would approve the vaccine despite its low effectiveness. According to a final analysis, the Curevac preparation had shown an effectiveness of 48 percent against Covid 19 disease across all age groups.
Curevac did not provide financial details about the consequences of the terminated production partnerships. The contracts with Rentschler Biopharma and Novartis remained in place. CVnCoV will continue to be examined by the European Medicines Agency, it said. In the fourth quarter, a study of a second-generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate called "CV2CoV", which was developed jointly with GlaxoSmithKline, is also due to begin.
The federal government originally planned the Curevac vaccine for the vaccination campaign. The federal government also has an indirect 16 percent stake in Curevac through the KfW state bank. In this way, politicians wanted to secure the company against a possible takeover from abroad. The SAP co-founder and investor Dietmar Hopp holds the largest share in the company. The preparation of the Tübingen company is a so-called mRNA vaccine - like the products of the competitors Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna.
The Munich-based company announced that the termination of the contract will not have any major impact on Wacker Chemie.
For the Wacker Biosolutions division, this has no significant impact on sales and earnings.
Wacker wants to use the capacities freed up in its Dutch vaccine production facility for other customers.
mic / dpa-afx