CureVac stops Covid-19 vaccine development; Netherlands was to receive 10.7 million doses
German company CureVac announced on Tuesday that it stopped the development of its vaccine against Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The Netherlands ordered some 10.7 million doses of this vaccine as part of its vaccination strategy.
The European Medicines Agency started looking at the CureVac clinical trials in February. CureVac now withdrew its vaccine, CVnCoV, from regulatory review and terminated its agreement with the European Commission to buy 405 million doses of the vaccine after approval. Approval would take too long, and "the pandemic window is closing," CureVac chief executive Franz-Werner Haas said in an interview with The New York Times.
In an update on the vaccine strategy provided in May, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he was expecting 4 million CureVac doses to be delivered between July and September 2021, another 4 million doses in the last three months of 2021, and 2.7 million more during the first quarter of 2022. Late last month, those expectations changed. "The vaccines from Novavax and Curevac, if they obtain market approval, will not be delivered until 2022 at the earliest," De Jonge then said in an update to parliament.
The efforts CureVac dedicated to its vaccine development will now be focused on collaborating with pharmaceutical giant GSK. The two companies will jointly start a clinical trial on a new version of the Covid-19 vaccine, which they hope will be more effective. They're also investigating whether Covid-19 boosters can be combined with the seasonal flu shots.