CureVac and GSK’s Bivalent Second-Generation mRNA Vaccine Candidate Shown to be Highly Effective Against SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Preclinical Study
CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC), a global biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (“mRNA”), today announced preclinical data demonstrating immune responses and protective efficacy of a bivalent second-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate jointly developed with GSK, combining two mRNAs encoding for the Beta and the Delta variant. The preclinical study, conducted in collaboration with the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Germany, assessed the bivalent candidate in comparison to the corresponding monovalent candidates targeting either variant in a mouse model. Despite containing only half the dose per variant-mRNA, the combined Beta/Delta candidate elicited neutralizing antibody titers fully comparable to the monovalent candidates of the respective variant. During exposure of the vaccinated animals to either the Beta or the Delta variant, the bivalent mRNA vaccine significantly reduced the viral load in the animals. High neutralizing antibody titers were accompanied by robust T cell responses. Notably, the bivalent Beta /Delta vaccine candidate induced two-fold higher virus neutralizing antibody titers against the Omicron variant than against the Delta variant in a rat model. This finding provides evidence for a potentially increased breadth of immune responses of the bivalent approach. The full manuscript of the preclinical data is available on the preprint server bioRxiv.
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