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2nd Generation mRNA Vaccine Compares Well with Comirnaty

November 19, 2021 • 4:45 am CST
(Precision Vaccinations)

Germany-based CureVac N.V. announced the publication of the extended preclinical study of the second-generation vaccine candidate, CV2CoV, jointly developed with GSK.

CV2CoV is CureVac’s first candidate based on the advanced second-generation mRNA backbone.

Published in the journal Nature on November 18, 2021, the data features a direct comparison of CV2CoV with the licensed mRNA vaccine, Comirnaty® (Pfizer/BioNTech).

The data confirm how targeted optimizations of a non-chemically modified mRNA can significantly improve immune responses in a preclinical model, providing substantiated support for the unmodified mRNA technology approach.

Neutralizing antibody levels measured following complete vaccination of animals with either 12µg of CV2CoV or a 30µg standard dose of Comirnaty were shown to be highly comparable.

This applies not only to the development of advanced COVID-19 vaccines but to the mRNA technology field as a whole, said the company.

The study, conducted in collaboration with Dan Barouch, MD, Ph.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, investigated immune responses and the protective efficacy of CV2CoV and first-generation candidate, CVnCoV, against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in cynomolgus macaques.

Within the study, CV2CoV and CVnCoV were tested in cynomolgus macaques immunized with a 12µg dose of the respective candidate on days 0 and 28.

For comparison with Comirnaty®, animals were vaccinated twice, on days 0 and 21, with 30µg of the licensed vaccine, and antibody titers were measured at peak immunity at week 5.

In comparing CV2CoV with CVnCoV, CV2CoV consistently showed better activation of innate and adaptive immune responses, resulting in earlier response onset, higher antibody titers, and stronger memory B and T cell activation.

Higher antibody neutralizing capacity was observed with CV2CoV across a range of relevant virus variants, including Delta.

Presently at a preclinical development stage, the vaccine candidate is a non-chemically modified mRNA encoding the prefusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and formulated within Lipid Nanoparticles.

CV2CoV was engineered with specifically optimized non-coding regions to exhibit improved mRNA translation for increased and extended protein expression compared to the first-generation mRNA backbone.

CureVac is a global biopharmaceutical company with offices in Tubingen and Boston, MA, in the field of messenger RNA technology, with more than 20 years of expertise in developing and optimizing the versatile biological molecule for medical purposes. 

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